Pumpkin spice cheesecake is the epitome of autumn to me.
It encompasses all that is amazing about fall; the colors, the smells, the tastes and triggers the memories of coming home, being home and being loved.
Every fall, the world transforms into a menagerie of splendid shades of greens, yellows, ambers, browns and reds. The leaves are dying, but to me, it feels like the world is coming to life in all it’s vibrant glory. I was born in the fall and it holds a special place in my heart.
I live for the crispness of the cool autumn mornings, the soft afterglow of that illuminates the world on an autumn afternoon and the sky, ever clear holding court with all the stars in the heavens. There is nothing that I don’t like about autumn.
I love the warm colored clothes that we pile on layer after layer. I love the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet as I walk through the park. The smells of chili and soups being made. I love my children running towards me with slightly red noses for hugs after school. I love cuddling in close to the Big Guy to stay warm. There isn’t really too much that I can say bad about autumn. I love it all.
I enjoy those last moments of clarity before the chaos of the holiday season begins. When I think of fall, I think of all the good things that are about to transpire; my birthday celebrated with loved ones, sipping coffee and making real connections with all the amazing friends who live in my computer at conferences, back-to-school, Halloween, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating with my little girls, giggles echoing into the crisp night air.
I think of my niece’s first birthday party, I think of Thanksgiving and all of our family ( both sides) talking, laughing and bonding while the smells of turkey and pumpkin pie waft through our home. I get the warm fuzzies knowing that in just 3 short months, after months of rehearsals, my daughters will take the stage to perform in the Nutcracker. My heart is full and it leaps with joy each time they perform.
Autumn reminds me that Christmas eve is right around the corner. A night spent playing charades, exchanging hugs and hearing stories told to my girls from the lips of their Great Aunt Maxie and their Great Grandmother of their childhood in Canada. Seeing all that love and watching our girls excitedly force themselves to sleep contrary to what all the excitement of Santa dictates, knowing that the next day, there will only be more warmth.
I love receiving the homemade gifts that my girls hand make with love each year because I know the time, effort and love that goes into every second of it’s making. I love watching their faces as they open their gifts. The laughter and excitement. I love the big breakfast of gravy and biscuits or creme brûlée french toast. The smell permeates our home like an old familiar friend. And from there it’s another couple weeks of family, food and love and that is what these first crisp mornings of autumn remind me of.
I’ve already started craving all the autumn dishes, the warm fuzzy feelings, and so here is a recipe sure to make your stomach and your heart happy. It will satisfy.
International Delight Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups of graham cracker
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
For the filling
- 12-ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 10-ounces pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup International Delight pumpkin pie spice creamer
- 1 1-ounce package cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix
- 10-ounces of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12-ounce container Cool whip topping
- Place the graham cracker crumbs in the bowl. Add the melted butter, sugar and brown sugar and combine.
- Spoon the crumbs into individual plastic cups (or into a 8 x8 casserole dish). Place in the refrigerator to set while you are preparing the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy.
- Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice creamer, and pudding mix. Beat until completely mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are combined.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix again until thoroughly combined.
- Change your stand mixture attachment to the wire whisk. On slow speed, fold in Cool Whip.
- Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
- Spoon pumpkin mixture over the graham cracker crust and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Garnish with drizzled caramel for an extra decadent dessert or with a dollop of whipped topping.
- Serve with a smile and enjoy.
What is your favorite thing about the autumn season?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.