- 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
- 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
- Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.
- Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps if desired. Yield: 12 servings.