Scrumptious Sweets Spice Up the Season

Through The Holiday Season Holiday Baking Brings Comfort Home

Sweet and spicy aromas float from the kitchen through the house as home cooks everywhere begin to prepare their family’s favorite part of the holiday menu—dessert. This season, Watkins, Inc. is offering updated twists to traditional favorites. Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake and Holiday Spice Print Cookies are sure to be a hit at any holiday meal. (recipes follow)

In 1868, 28-year-old entrepreneur J.R. Watkins founded the J.R. Watkins Medical Company in Plainview, Minnesota, giving birth to one of America’s first natural apothecary remedies companies. Watkins is one of the first companies to offer factory-direct home delivery to the consumer via horse and wagon and is the first company in the world to offer the “Satisfaction/Money-Back Guarantee.” Over the years, Watkins became renowned for its spices, extracts and other quality gourmet ingredients, as well as for its high quality, consumer direct service. Vanilla, the crown jewel of Watkins’ popular line of extracts, has made the company a household name for decades. Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract, which debuted in 1895, is the company’s best-selling product. In 1928 the world recognized and awarded Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract a Gold Medal for Highest Quality.

Watkins’s recipe for Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake is a creamy blend of pumpkin pie and cheesecake, two classic American desserts. With a gingersnap cookie crust and the subtle taste of Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract, this dessert is the perfect way to end a fall meal.

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes 12 servings.
Ingredients
1-1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 32 cookies)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract
3 eggs
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Cooking Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine crumbs and butter. Press firmly over bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes; remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
3. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Reserve 1 cup batter.
4. Add remaining sugar, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to remaining batter; mix well.
5. Alternately layer pumpkin and cream cheese batters over crust. Cut through batters with knife several times for marbled effect.
6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until cheesecake springs back lightly when slightly touched. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan. Let cool to room temperature, then chill.

The beginning of the holiday season is punctuated with the sweet smell of homemade spice cookies. Although yummy to eat, Watkins suggests another use for spicy treats—tree ornaments!

Holiday Spice Prints
Makes 5 dozen.
Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cloves (ground)
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt, if desired
Granulated sugar

Cooking Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Cream butter and brown sugar; beat in egg, molasses and vanilla.
3. Combine flour, soda, spices and salt. Stir into creamed mixture; chill 1 hour.
4. Roll dough into 1-1/2-inchballs; dip tops in granulated sugar.
5. Place balls, sugar side up, about 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until set but not hard.
6. Firmly press top of each cookie as soon as it comes from oven with clay stamp or wooden butter mold. Pierce top of each cookie with a drinking straw to make hole for hanging, if desired. Cool on wire racks. When cool, thread each cookie with ribbon for hanging. Please visit www.jrwatkins.com for more information.

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