- 25-35 gingersnap cookies
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into chunks and softened
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Chopped Hazelnuts
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°. Lightly coat a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Using a food processor, grind the cookies with 1/4 cup sugar. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake until firm, 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
- You will have two mixtures: a pumpkin (orange) and a white mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in 2 eggs until blended. Transfer 1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture to a small bowl and set aside. for your orange mixture, add the remaining 3 eggs, the pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin-pie spice and salt and beat until combined, 2 minutes.
- Set the spring form pan with the cooled crust on a double layer of heavy-duty foil and wrap the foil tightly around the bottom and sides; set in a roasting pan. Make sure that no water can get in. Pour the (orange) cheesecake filling into the crust. Then, dollop the reserved (white) cream cheese mixture onto the filling and, using the tip of a knife, swirl together. If you would like add chopped hazelnuts to the outside edge, Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and fill with enough boiling water to reach about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan. Bake the cheesecake until the center is slightly wobbly but the edges are firm to the touch, about 1-1/4 hours.
- Transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to a rack and let cool for 45 minutes. Remove the spring form pan, discard the foil and let the cheesecake cool on the rack for 3 hours. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the spring form pan sides. Run a knife under the bottom of the cake to release it, then slide onto a serving platter