There are so many things to love about Halloween. Pumpkin carving, spooky movies (but not too spooky), clever costumes and, of course, the sweets. Ohhhh, the sweets. I can remember sitting on the floor of the living room as a kid, after a long evening of trick-or-treating, sorting my candy into neat little piles, each organized by size and type. A little obsessive compulsive perhaps, but it was of the utmost importance that I take inventory of my loot, because without a doubt, by sugar-loving mother (she’s where I get it) would be raiding my stash in the coming days. It was ALL ABOUT the candy.

These days, while I still love a fun size candy bar here and there, I more-so love to use Halloween as an excuse to flex a little creativity. It’s the one time of year I can indulge my love for spooky, scary, sometimes kitschy desserts without judgement. This spiderweb tart is this year’s creepy creation.

Halloween snuck up on me this year, so, for the sake of time, I set out with the goal of creating an impressive dessert that takes advantage of a few handy shortcuts. So for our convenience, this tart requires zero bake time and each component only requires a few easy, well-loved ingredients (hello, Oreos). Each component can be made relatively quickly and ahead of time, if needed, and requires only time spent chilling in the refrigerator to come together. The crust is a simple, 2-ingredient, Oreo cookie crust. The pumpkin filling takes 15 minutes or less to come together. And the ganaches only need a little microwaving and a stir. The trickiest part is piping your spider web in a neat spiral and, well, nobody will really care about your piping skills once they’ve tasted this beauty.

The pumpkin cheesecake filling is incredibly light and airy with warm fall spices, and just a touch of pumpkin flavor to celebrate the season. It’s complemented by a thin but indulgent layer of smooth, rich ganache, and the Oreo cookie crust adds just a bit of childlike nostalgia and some much needed crunch for texture.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

No-Bake Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake Tart

Serves 12

ingredients


For the crust:

24 Oreo cookies

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the no-bake pumpkin cheesecake:

½ cup heavy cream

4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

? teaspoon nutmeg

? teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache:

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the white chocolate ganache:

2 oz. white chocolate

1 tablespoon heavy cream

instructions


To prepare the crust:

1. Add the Oreo cookies to a food processor and process until ground into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir until all crumbs have been moistened.

2. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. For a crispier texture, you can bake the crust at 350F for 10-12 minutes, but this is completely optional.

To prepare the cheesecake filling:

1. Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat until thick. Transfer whipped cream to a separate bowl and set aside.

2. Change the mixer attachment to the paddle. Add the cream cheese to the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat again until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, spices and vanilla and mix to combine.

3. Gently fold in the whipped cream until completely uniform.

4. Spread the cheesecake mixture into the prepared crust and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before topping with ganache.

To prepare the chocolate ganache:

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.

2. Pour the ganache over the chilled tart and spread to meet the sides. Tap a few times on the counter to help smooth the surface.

To prepare the white chocolate ganache:

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.

2. Pour the ganache into a piping bag or Ziploc and snip off the tip with scissors. Pipe the white chocolate ganache in a spiral over the chocolate ganache, starting in the middle and working your way outwards.

3. Immediately use a toothpick to drag lines in the ganache, again, starting in the middle and pulling outwards.

4. Chill the tart in the freezer for at least an hour before serving. This will ensure it’s firm and easy to slice. Garnish with a toy spider for an extra spooky effect.

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