For the best you've ever tasted, think outside the box. This do-it-yourself mix can be customized with whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit sound good to you. (We've included some of our favorite combinations.)
You will only need half the recipe for the cheesecake; use the remaining dough to make cookie cutouts (see variation) or reserve it for another use; it will freeze up to one month. To make a honey gingerbread variation (as pictured on top of the cheesecake), replace 1/2 cup of the molasses with 1/2 cup honey, and substitute granulated sugar for the brown sugar.
The cookie cutters for these cookies are available at downtowndough.com (from $5.50 each). To make the Woodlands Gingerbread House, use one batch of this dough to make the walls, and one batch of the Boiled Gingerbread dough to make the roof and chimneys. Get the gingerbread house template here.
Canned pumpkin puree allows you to use less fat in this recipe, yielding moist, tender little cakes that are better for you. These cakes were baked in cannele molds, available at baking stores. They're just as sweet made in muffin pans. You can also use a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan; bake 70 minutes.