Now is the time of year to run out to World Market and buy a tin of Nyakers Pepparkakor cookies. They are Swedish gingersnaps and are much thinner and tastier than what you'll find in a cardboard box labelled "Gingersnaps" in the grocery store. These are only available around the holidays, so if you like them, stock up!
They are delicious on their own or with a cup of tea or coffee, but also make a great gingersnap crust. I usually make this pumpkin cheesecake for our family Thanksgiving dinner, but it would be good anytime. If you don't like gingersnaps you could substitute graham cracker crumbs and add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the crust ingredients.
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups gingersnaps, crushed
Mix together and spread on bottom and up sides of a 8- or 9-inch springform pan. (Alternately, you could just put the crust on the bottom and stand up whole cookies along the sides.) Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
24 oz. cream cheese, softened (I often substitute 1/3 less fat cheese for 1-2 of the 8 oz. packages)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Mix cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, and spices and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into the prepared crust and bake 60-70 minutes or until the top begins to turn darker. Once the cheesecake has cooled, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Remove pan sides and serve with whipped cream.
The good news is that the cookies have less than 25 calories each; unfortunately, I can't say the same about a piece of cheesecake.