I did it! I just had my last university class of my undergraduate career! From here on out it's all about student teaching and I could not be more excited about that!
To celebrate, the annual future-teacher ugly sweater holiday party is happening and I can't wait to see everyone. Also, I just had my holiday party at school with all the teachers. It is so fun to see how everyone comes together just like a family. I can't wait to be part of that someday. Until then, I have my "future-teacher" family. It is great how we have our group as a little support-system for when we go out into the "real world" and look for teaching jobs. Also, they are some of the greatest people I have ever met and I have made amazing friends that I know will last a life-time. I am so excited that we did it! We survived all our classes! Now, it's time to "leave the nest" and go off into our full-time student teaching!
All this holiday cheer just makes me want to bake even more. So, I have. Stay tuned for TONS of cookies, AMAZING cakes, and other treats that are just to die for! Today, I have a recipe for a crazy yummy Gingerbread Cheesecake. Remember when I made an adorable gingerbread house? Well, there was an ulterior motive to that. I actually just needed to make the gingerbread cookies so that I could crumble them up and turn them into the crust for this baby. It was really yummy and great for the holidays! I shared it with my DTS family at my last study night ever as Academic Chair. It was a great way to end the semester.
Gingerbread Cheesecake (adapted from Baked By Rachel)
For the crust:
2 cups gingerbread crumbs (half of this recipe)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
For the Cheesecake:
24 oz low-fat cream cheese
1 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350. Wrap a 9 inch springform with two layers of foil. Lightly grease the inside of the pan.
2. Crush the cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. In a bowl, mix the crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and, using a class, press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. The crumbs should cover the bottom and about 3/4 up the sides. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Let cool.
4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the brown sugar until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Finally, beat in the vanilla, molasses, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
5. Place the cheesecake and pan in a large pan. Fill the pan with hot water until the water is about half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Place in the oven for 60 minutes. After the hour, turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in for another hour.