I know, it just doesn't sound safe. Particularly since I currently have a Rubbermaid container full of live insects feasting on the scraps generated by this recipe. Don't worry, no pictures of them. Lots of other pics though, so I'll probably split this up a bit!
Well, this year I made sweet potato cheesecake with gingersnap crust and caramel sauce. I also did this last year, but now I actually know more or less how to prepare it.
So first, put on some festive baking music or something.
Next you need take the cream cheese out to soften. I used about 2 and a half 8-oz packages -- you can use three if you have 'em, two if you don't happen to have 4 oz. left over from making crab rangoon.
If you're feeling super ambitious, you can even have them all be the same brand, but that requires planning and stuff. Next, you need a couple sweet potatoes, or one crazy big-a ... mazing sweet potato.
That's not all forced perspective with the cream cheese packages, it weighed well over a pound. You can bake it if you have time, or boil it or microwave it or whatever. Just get it cooked all the way through. Don't start mixing stuff in your mixing bowl yet though, you need that for the gingersnap crumbs. By the way, you need ~2 cups of gingersnap crumbs. More is generally better if you want the crust to go up the sides a little.
Then you need to melt 5 T or so of butter, less usually works just fine.
You're mixing food and stuff now, so tie back that unruly hair or people are gonna get grossed out thinking there might be hair in their food.
Once you've spent like half an hour taking pictures of all this, stop for a minute and think whether you're supposed to be writing a 5-page proposal essay today. If you are, take a five-minute research break.
Whew, that was exhausting. Back to the important stuff. If your gingersnaps aren't very sweet, pour some sugar in there.
Mix it up till it's all sparkly.
If it looks like there's too much butter at this stage, add more gingersnaps. If you have no capacity to plan for the future and already ate the rest of the batch, you big giant hog, just pour a little more sugar in there and hope for the best. Now you need to squish it into the cheesecake pan. You can use plastic, like this ginormous bag.
Or if it's just for family, do it the normal way.
Bake that for a while, five or six minutes maybe, till it's kind of crunchy but not burnt. Congrats, you've started the cheesecake and finished a gingersnap crust! I could have just said "make a graham cracker crust, but with gingersnaps" ... but that takes the suspense out of it. Next up is the cheesecake itself.