Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 2
  3. cups crushed teddy bear-shaped cinnamon graham snacks (from 10-oz box)
  4. 1/4
  5. cup butter or margarine, melted
  6. Filling
  7. 4
  8. packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  9. 1 1/2
  10. cups granulated sugar
  11. 4
  12. eggs
  13. 1
  14. cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  15. 2
  16. teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  17. 3/4
  18. teaspoon ground cardamom
  19. Spiced Caramel-Rum Sauce
  20. 1/3
  21. cup packed brown sugar
  22. 1/3
  23. cup light or dark corn syrup
  24. 2
  25. tablespoons butter or margarine
  26. 1/3
  27. cup whipping cream
  28. 1
  29. tablespoon spiced rum or 1/4 teaspoon rum extract
  30. Garnish
  31. Sweetened whipped cream, if desired
Instructions
  1. 1 Heat oven to 300°F. Spray 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap foil around pan to catch drips. In small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press mixture in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes. To minimize cracking, place shallow pan half full of hot water on lower oven rack.
  2. 2 In large bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Spoon 3 cups of the mixture onto crust; spread evenly. To remaining cream cheese mixture, add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and cardamom; mix with wire whisk until smooth. Spoon over mixture in pan.
  3. 3 Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge of pan but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Run small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  4. 4 In small saucepan, heat brown sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons butter to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in whipping cream; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; stir in rum. Cool until warm.
  5. 5 Just before serving, run small metal spatula around edge of pan; carefully remove side of pan. Top individual slices with warm sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.
Notes
  1. Cinnamon graham cracker crumbs can be substituted for the teddy bear-shaped graham crackers.
  2. To save time, use purchased caramel topping instead of making the caramel sauce. Warm the topping and stir in the rum or rum extract.
  3. To easily crush the crackers, use a food processor or place them in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
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