At this very traditional time of year, spice things up with a new dessert that offers the familiar flavors of Thanksgivings past, but with a new twist.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cookie crumbs, walnuts, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until combined. Add butter and pulse 4 or 5 times, or until crumbly.
Wrap the outside of a 10-inch springform pan or six 4-inch mini pans with aluminum foil; then press cookie mixture into the bottom and a bit up the sides. Bake 8–10 minutes.
Cool crust completely on a wire rack. Reduce oven heat to 325°F.
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, or until creamy. Gradually add brown sugar and the remaining ¾ cup sugar, beating 4 minutes, or until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yolk is blended. Add pumpkin, cream, and spice. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer just until blended. Don’t overbeat. Pour batter over prepared crust.
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes (or about 40 minutes if you’re making minis), or until almost set (it will still jiggle in the center). Remove from oven; run a knife around edge of pan. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Chill 8 hours or overnight.
Garnish with walnut halves. Top with Caramel Sauce and serve.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup; then cook, stirring continuously, until mixture comes to a boil.
Gradually add cream, stirring continuously. Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
Yield: 1-½ cups