Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 C).
Place gingersnaps in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade and pulse until coarsely ground. In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute pecans in butter until toasted and golden brown. Add pecans and butter to food processor. Add the brown sugar to the food processor and pulse a few times to blend ingredients. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Place the cream cheese, brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla to bowl and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Pour into prepared crust and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before serving or icing with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
6 ounces good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
Beat cream cheese until smooth in a food processor or mixing bowl. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove bowl from pot and wipe bottom dry. Stir with a rubber spatula until all chocolate is melted. Set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly. Beat the melted chocolate into the whipped cream cheese and spread over top and sides of the cheesecake.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cream or half and half
2 cups pecan halves
Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cream and bring to a boil. Add pecans, stirring well until well coated in butter mixture. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. Use to garnish Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake or toss into salads or serve with cocktails.
Makes 12-16 servings.
Date: September 17, 2002