Horchata Treats for Cinco De Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! This year I decided to make Horchata in honor of the day and then use some of that fresh Horchata to make Horchata Cupcakes topped with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkled with cinnamon.

After a few Google searches I decided to make my Horchata as close to “authentic” as possible. I found a recipe that used evaporated milk, one that used rice milk and another that suggested purchasing powdered Horchata mix and mixing it with milk. For authenticity I opted to go the traditional route of blending water with rice until the rice was broken down and then letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I strained the water to get all of the rice bits out and blended it with whole milk, vanilla extract, almond extract (okay, this was a bit of a shortcut since some Horchata recipes call for ground almonds), cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

And then the next day I used the fresh Horchata to make cupcakes that were super moist and had a hint of the Horchata in them. Delish!

Feliz Cinco De Mayo…  May your guacamole be spicy, your margaritas strong and your food delicioso!

 

Horchata

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 quart warm water

1/2 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

Cinnamon sticks for serving, optional

Directions:

In a blender combine the rice and water. Blend for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the rice has broken down but does not form a powder. Refrigerate the rice water mixture for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Strain the rice mixture into a container through a fine mesh sieve or several layers of cheesecloth to remove the rice solids.

Transfer the rice water to a blender and add in the milk, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon and sugar. Blend for a minute until all of the ingredients are well combines and smooth.

Refrigerate if not serving immediately. When serving, pour over ice with cinnamon sticks as stirrers.

Recipe from The Food Network

 

Horchata Cupcakes

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Horchata

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large egg whites

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners.

Cream the butter on high speed and then add in the sugar, continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Mix the Horchata, vanilla and cinnamon together, set aside.

Add the flour mixture and the Horchata mixture to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating between the flour and Horchata mixture. Beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites in to the cupcake batter until incorporated.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from The Foodies Kitchen

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 8oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sifted Confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.

Add in the vanilla extract and continue beating, then gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar.

If not using immediately, store in the refrigerator.

A Red Velvet Valentine Heart

In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow I decided to bake up a red velvet cake heart and decorate it with cream cheese frosting. I just can’t stand when red velvet (or carrot cake for that matter) are frosted with buttercream or vanilla frosting. The flavors just don’t go well together in my opinion. So, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Or will you be celebrating Singletine’s Day? Or Galentine’s Day? Which is actually today!

For the cake I used a recipe that I came across on another blog that was for 12 cupcakes. In one bowl I combined all of my dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder and salt. And in a smaller bowl I whisked together buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, an egg, vinegar and red food coloring. I didn’t have buttermilk so I made my own by combining a 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice (you could use vinegar in lieu of the lemon juice). I stirred the two together and let it sit at room temperature until it was slightly thickened. You may also see some curdling on the top as well. Ever since I learned I could make my own buttermilk I have opted to do that as opposed to buying it. Inevitably I always end up throwing out most of the buttermilk since I have nothing else to use it for.

img_0437

Next, I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat them until they were well combined. And then slowly added in hot water – I boiled the water and then let it cool a bit.

img_0439

And finally, I poured the batter into my prepared 6-inch heart pan (I sprayed it with baking spray) and baked it in a 350 F oven for about 40 minutes. Now, if you plan on using a 6-inch heart pan like I did, don’t make the same mistake I did. I poured all of the batter into the pan. I probably should have only poured in enough to fill half or 3/4 of the pan, but, it was slightly more than 3/4. So, what happened, it overflowed when I baked it. Thankfully I had the premonition that it would so I placed aluminum foil on the rack beforehand so I didn’t have a huge mess in my oven.

img_0440

It wasn’t all that bad though, after letting the cake cool I was able to torte the cake. I just used the cut side as the bottom of the cake.

img_0442

And then it was time to decorate. I made cream cheese frosting and let it firm up a bit in the fridge before decorating with it. I began by make two large rosettes on the cake using a Wilton 1M tip…

img_0443

And soon enough, using various sizes and shapes of decorating tips, my heart was completely decorated.

img_0452

So, however you will be celebrating, or if you’re not celebrating at all, I hope you have a wonderful day.

 

Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons red food coloring

1/2 cup hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare your desired pan. This recipe was originally for 12-14 cupcakes, but, can be easily used for a single layer 6-inch or 8-inch cake.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, egg, vinegar and red food coloring.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a hand mixer beat until well combined.

Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

If using a cupcake pan, bake for about 15 – 17 minutes. If using a cake pan, bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Until a cake tested comes out clean.

Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Recipe from The Cake Blog

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and beat until smooth.

Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until smooth.

Add in the vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.

Carrot Cake For Two…

Or dessert for One for two days! I love carrot cake, but, truth be told it’s a lot of work to make for just me alone to eat. Okay, it’s really not a lot of work; it’s a lot of cake for me alone. But, I recently came across a recipe for carrot cake that resulted in two perfect-sized slices of cake, which would be great as a dessert for two or in my case dessert for one for two days… Yum! Who doesn’t love a delicious dessert two days in a row?

To make the batter I began by whisking together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. I then created a well in the center of the flour mixture and added in eggs and sugar and mixed the two together. Next I added in oil and vanilla extract and continued mixing it with a fork.

img_0153

I then incorporated the flour mixture and egg mixture and folded in shredded carrots and pecans to the batter. Once the batter was well combined I transferred it to a 9-inch round pan that I sprayed with baking spray.

img_0154

After baking the cake in a 350 F preheated oven for about 25 minutes I removed it from the oven and allowed the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.

img_0158

After the 20 minutes, I removed the cake from the pan and allowed it to cool completely on the wire rack. Once it was completely cooled I cut the cake into 4 equal parts and frosted the top of each piece with cream cheese frosting.

img_0164

I then stacked the four pieces and frosted the back curve of the cake.

img_0167

After refrigerating the cake for half an hour I then sliced it in half and was left with 2 perfect sized slices of cakes.

img_0173

 

Carrot Cake For Two

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 ounces carrots (about 3 small), finely grated (about 1 cup)

1/4 cup pecans

 

For the Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

For The Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 -by- 2 inch round cake pan with baking spray.

Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg – in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Working within the well, use a fork to mix together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla to egg mixture and continue mixing with a fork until well combined once again. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together with the fork until just combined. Fold in the carrots and pecans.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Turn out the cake and let it cool on the wire rack for about an hour until completely cool.

For The Frosting:

Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer on medium, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until well incorporated. Finally add in the vanilla extract.

To Assemble the Cake:

Cue the cake into 4 equal wedges. Frost the top of each wedge with about 3 tablespoons of frosting. Stack the wedges on top of each other and with the remaining frosting frost the back curve of the cake, and leave the 2 sides of the cake open. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then cut the cake wedge in half and serve.

Recipe from The Food Network

Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

So, what happens when you bake a cake late at night and then frost it early the next morning? You don’t take pictures! But, that’s okay. I don’t need pictures to tell you how delicious this cake is. I do have this lovely final picture though…

img_0144

With Thanksgiving this week this Pumpkin Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting is my final pumpkin dessert of the season. I can’t say it’s the best as that title goes to the Pumpkin Tiramisu I posted about last month, but, it’s definitely a close second, and I am sure would be a welcome addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. I actually made it for a Friendsgiving celebration I had with some wonderful friends last weekend. If you’ve never had your own Friendsgiving celebration I strongly advise you to have one next year. There’s absolutely no drama and you get to spend some time with people who are just as important or in some cases more important to you than your own family!

Here are some quick notes about this cake though… Definitely go with the freshly grated nutmeg and don’t try to substitute ground ginger for the freshly grated ginger, trust me, these two things make a huge difference in the flavor. I speak from experience. Make your own buttermilk by combining vinegar (or lemon juice) and milk (for this cake, I used 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1/2 cup 2% milk to make the buttermilk.) And finally, if you’re not a fan of goat cheese go with a simple cream cheese frosting. You can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting.

So, however you’re spending your Thanksgiving I hope it’s one with delicious food, sweet desserts and great company. And remember, no matter what has happened in life there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!

 

Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups light-brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups solid-pack pumpkin

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup buttermilk*

*To make your own combine 1/2 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice) with 1/2 cup milk – I used 2%. Let stand for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. When the milk is ready it will have thickened and you will see small curdled bits.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep two 8-inch round pans, either by spraying them with baking spray (what I did) or brush the pans with butter, line the bottoms with parchment paper, butter the parchment paper then dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

With an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Then beat in the pumpkin and finally the vanilla and ginger. Reduce the speed to medium and add the flour in the batches alternating with 2 batches of the buttermilk, beating until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are golden brown, the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tested comes out clean, about 30 -35 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto the racks to cool completely.

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake stand (or board) and spread half of your desired frosting evenly over the cake. Top with the second layer and evenly spread the remaining frosting over the cake.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

 

Goat Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 pound (2 – 8oz bars) cream cheese, at room temperature

8 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Beat cheese until combined, then gradually add sugar and continue beating until smooth and creamy.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Día De Los Muertos Cupcakes

Happy Halloween! This year instead of a Halloween inspired treat I opted to go with a Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) one instead. So, what is Día De Los Muertos you may ask? Well, it’s a three-day Mexican holiday where one remembers and celebrates friends and family members who have died. And while pumpkins and ghosts are symbolic of Halloween, sugar skulls are the symbol associated with this holiday. These are skulls that are colorfully decorated. The biggest difference I would say between the two holidays is how one celebrates death and the other fears death. With Día De Los Muertos people set-up altars to celebrate the dead, bring food and/or beverages, among other gifts, to their loved one’s grave site. While with Halloween, children wear masks and costumes as protection and jack-o-lanterns are meant to ward off evil spirits. So, whichever you choose to celebrate, or if you are among those who did not celebrate at all, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with candy! One of the reasons I decided to go with this theme was because I was giving these cupcakes as part of a birthday gift to a friend who really likes the décor of the holiday and she’s probably a bigger pumpkin spice fan than me.

img_0066

I began these cupcakes by making the sugar skull toppers. I melted Wilton White Candy Melts and poured them into skull molds and then placed them in the refrigerator so they could set.

img_0019

The following day using an array of sparkle gel…

img_0023

I decorated the skulls to mimic sugar skulls and then placed them back in the refrigerator.

img_0026

A few days later I made the cupcakes. To make the batter I began by whisking together melted butter, oil and milk. Once that was well combined I added in brown sugar and continued whisking until it was smooth. And then finally I added in vanilla extract and eggs. In another bowl I combined the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt) and then added them to the wet ingredients. Next I folded in pumpkin puree and chocolate chips.

img_0048

I then filled Día De Los Muertos themed cupcake liners about 3/4 full and baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

img_0049

After letting them cool completely I made a cream cheese frosting to top them off.

img_0055

So the sugar skulls would pop a little I opted to stripe the inside of the decorator bag with green before adding the frosting to pipe. And there you have it… Día De Los Muertos Pumpkin Cupcakes.

img_0068

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

5 tablespoons milk*, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

14 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup chocolate chips

*I used 2%

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F and lined a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the butter, oil and milk until smooth. Add in the brown sugar and continue mixing until smooth and finally add in the vanilla and eggs, continuing to whisk until smooth.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix it until smooth.

Fold in the pumpkin puree and then the chocolate chips until well combined.

Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full and bake for about 21-23 minutes, until a cake inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool in the tin for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Ingredients for Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 cups Confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 cups vanilla extract

Frosting Directions:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and mix together until smooth.

Add half of the sugar and mix until smooth, then add the vanilla extract and continue mixing. Finally add the remaining sugar and continue mixing until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes.

Recipe from The Cake Blog

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Out of all the desserts I’ve made I think Tiramisu has been my favorite. In all honesty though, it’s always been one of my favorite desserts. Today, I’m bringing you a twist on the classic Tiramisu, a White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu. And now is the perfect time to make it with berries, including blackberries, being in-season.

To begin I soaked ladyfingers in a mixture of orange juice and blackberry liqueur and arranged them in a 11×7 inch baking dish. Don’t let the ladyfingers soak up too much of the liquid, you don’t want them to become mushy.

IMG_0048

Next, I melted white chocolate in a double boiler. I don’t own an actual double boiler, so, I created my own by simmering water in a pot and then placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without touching it. Once the chocolate had melted I let it cool slightly and in another bowl I beat cream cheese, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar until creamy. I then stirred in the melted white chocolate. In another bowl, I beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks formed and took 1 cup of the whipped cream and folded it into the cream cheese mixture. And finally, I spread half of this mixture over the ladyfingers.

IMG_0052

On top of the cream cheese mixture I laid an even layer of fresh blackberries which I pressed lightly into the cream cheese. I then dipped the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice / liqueur mixture and placed them on top of the blackberries.

IMG_0053

With the remaining cream cheese mixture I added in more confectioners’ sugar and then folded in the remaining whipped cream and spread this over the second layer of ladyfingers. To top it off, I melted a few tablespoons of blackberry preserves and combined it with a tablespoon of the blackberry liqueur and then drizzled it over the tiramisu and then topped it with some fresh blackberries.

IMG_0058

And after chilling for a few hours it was time to dive in…

IMG_0060

And it was delish… Sweet, but just sweet enough!

 

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Ingredients:

2/3 cup orange juice

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

24 ladyfingers

6oz. white chocolate, chopped*

8oz. brick cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar, divided use

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 cups fresh blackberries, divided use

 Garnish

3 tbsp. melted blackberry preserves

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

*I used 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine orange juice and liqueur in a shallow bowl. Dip half of the ladyfingers in the orange juice mixture – a quick dip will suffice – and line the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can create one yourself by simmering water in a pot and placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without allowing it to touch the water. Once melted let the chocolate cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese along with the vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the Confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Stir in the melted chocolate and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.

In another bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread half of it over the ladyfingers. Lay about 1 1/2 cups of the fresh blackberries over the cream cheese mixture, pressing down slightly.

Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice mixture and arrange them over the blackberries.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Confectioners’ sugar to the remaining cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread this mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers.

In a small bow mix together the melted preserves and liqueur and drizzle over the top of the tiramisu. And finally, top the entire thing with the remaining blackberries.

Chill 3-5 hours and Enjoy!

Recipe from Better Recipes.

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

You can pretty much find cheesecake in any flavor these days. Have you ever been to the Cheesecake Factory? Looking at their endless list of options can make you cross-eyed. While there is nothing wrong with the classic, whether you like yours made with ricotta cheese or cream cheese, sometimes you want a cheesecake with an extra hint of flavor and something a little different. Hence me trying out a recipe for a Maple Walnut Cheesecake. Those flavors just seem synonymous with the Fall season and with Thanksgiving just a few days away this may be a good option for you to serve for those guests who are just not into Apple or Pumpkin Pie.

I began by making the crust. I pulsed a sleeve of graham crackers – 9 crackers – in my food processor until they were crushed. I then added in walnuts and brown sugar and continued pulsing the mixture until it was finely ground. Finally I added in melted butter, salt and nutmeg and continued pulsing the mixture until it was combined. Following that I pressed it into the bottom and about an inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan that I wrapped with aluminum foil. I then baked it in the middle rack of a preheated 350 F oven. On the lower rack of the oven I placed a roasting rack filled halfway with water. Once the crust was light golden, about 10 minutes, I transferred the crust to a wire rack to cool. Once it was cool it was time to make the filling…

IMG_9287

To make the filling I began by creaming together 4 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese in my stand mixer until it was smooth. I then added in maple syrup and granulated sugar. Following that 4 eggs, one at a time. And finally flour, heavy cream, lemon juice and vanilla extract. The original recipe called for maple extract, but, since the recipe only called for a quarter of a teaspoon I didn’t want to buy an ingredient that I was certain I wouldn’t use again anytime soon, if ever.

IMG_9288

Once the filling was ready I poured it into the cooled crust and then placed the cheesecake in the oven directly over the roasting pan with water.

IMG_9290

After baking for about an hour I transferred the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. I knew it was ready because it was set around the edges but slightly jiggly in the middle. After it cooled I covered it with aluminum foil and refrigerated it overnight.

IMG_9292

The following day before removing the springform ring I let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for an hour and then ran a knife along the edges. The ring came off without incident (i.e. no sides of the cheesecake were ripped). I couldn’t wait to enjoy a slice and while the cheesecake was perfectly creamy it didn’t have much of a maple flavor in my opinion. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t use the maple extract or because it is meant to be more of a subtle flavor as opposed to one that overpowers the cheesecake. One thing that did stand out was the walnuts in the graham cracker crust; it added a nice nutty flavor.

IMG_9345

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 sleeve graham crackers, 9 crackers

3/4 cup walnut pieces

1/3 cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of Kosher salt

For the Filling:

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon maple extract*

*I opted to use vanilla extract

Directions:

Fill a roasting pan halfway with water and set on a rack in the lower third of the oven, position another rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.

To make the crust; pulse the graham crackers in a food processor a few times until crushes. Add in the walnut and brown sugar and continue pulsing until finely ground. Add in the melted butter, nutmeg and salt and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom and about 1-inch up the side of the prepared springform pan. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling; beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the maple syrup and granulated sugar and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Increase the speed to medium high and beat in the flour, heavy cream and lemon juice and extract until the filling is smooth and silky, about 1 minute.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and transfer the cheesecake to the oven directly over the water bath. Bake until golden and set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the middle, about 60 -70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 5 hours or overnight. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove the springform ring.

Recipe from the Food Network