Although VeganMoFo is over, I feel like I’m still in a mad dash to come up with fun, delicious recipes for the masses. Ah, the holidays: a time centered around families, food, and good will towards men. Why not aim for good will towards all creatures and make your holidays vegan? It’s super easy, super fun, and no one gets hurt–well except for Uncle Bob, but that’s because he over does it on the spiked cider. Oh, Uncle Bob…
One of my roommates has been on an intense pumpkin pie kick lately. So, as much as I’ve wanted to bake pumpkin pie in preparation for the upcoming holiday, I figured we were all maxed out on the pumpkin pies for now. So, naturally, a cheesecake was in order. A pumpkin cheesecake. With cookies. Because…well, because why the hell not? I rarely venture through the cookie aisle in grocery stores, but something drove me there this past week, right to the Newman O’s. When I saw they had ginger oreos, I knew–I knew the time had come for a miraculous, simple, cookie crust. And so it was. And so it is.
This recipe is so easy, you basically have no excuse not to try it this holiday season. The cheesecake filling is thick and smooth and so much like dairy cheesecake, you’ll have everybody fooled. The crust is gingery, crunchy, and practically caramelizes, giving it an overall flavor reminiscent of dulce de leche.
Ok, enough. I can’t say anymore without drooling unattractively, and I’ve got pies to bake, stuffing to pursue, and gravies to concoct! There’s only a little over a week left until my family’s anti-Thanksgiving vegan harvest. I hope this makes it onto your dessert plate; I know it will be on mine! Enjoy!
(makes one 9 inch cake)
2 cups Newman O’s Ginger O’s cookies (2 rows of cookies), crumbled
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, melted
8 oz vegan plain cream cheese (Tofutti or Galaxy Nutritonal Foods brand)
12 oz firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup vegan/organic sugar
1/4 cup vegan/organic brown sugar
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
3 tsp spiced rum, optional (Use Barnivore for vegan friendly options)
Cinnamon, for serving, optional
Nutmeg, for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
First, make the crust. Put the cookies in a large food grade plastic bag (a Ziploc bag) and crumble them by mashing them with a pan. I like to use the flat end of a meat tenderizer. You don’t want to pulverize the cookies, but you also don’t want very large pieces. Pour the cookies in a large bowl. Add the chopped pecans. Pour the melted butter over the cookies and nuts and combine the mixture well with a spoon. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Spread and press it very firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Using a potato masher will help you press the crust down really well. The more firmly you press it, the better it will hold. Put the crust in the refrigerator to cool while you make the filling.
To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and thick. Pour the filling into the crust, heaping it in the middle. You may need to spread and even the filling out with a spoon. Wrap the outside of the pie dish (from the bottom up to the sides) with aluminum foil and place it in a water bath–this will help distribute the heat evenly and help prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to check for readiness. If the toothpick comes out moist and cool, bake for another few minutes. A little filling on the toothpick is nothing to worry about. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool. After cooling, chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours; overnight chilling is preferable. When plating and right before serving, lightly sprinkle cheesecake with ground cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!