Mark Manuel

Mark Manuel

Mark Manuel can be heard in the Quad Cities on 101-3 KISS-FM and BIG 106.5, as well as in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids on 100.7 The Fox. Thanks for...Full Bio


Want To Make A Quick $20? Don't Make Cheesecake During The Holidays!

Chocolate Covered cheesecake

Photo: Getty Images

Apparently, there is a cheese shortage that has people a little freaked out. Now, the folks behind Philadelphia Cream Cheese have a deal for you…Kraft Heinz say they’ll pay 18,000 customers $20 for a holiday dessert…that isn’t made with cream cheese. How does this actually work?

  • Make a reservation for your reward.
  • How? Starting at 11am tomorrow, you can sign up for a chance at a reservation HERE. There will be 10,000 reservations for tomorrow and the remaining 8,000 beginning at 11am on Saturday.
  • The, submit a store or restaurant receipt that is dated between December 17th and Christmas Eve (December 24th) showing a purchase of a dessert or a dessert ingredient.

Of course, the company is ramping up production to meet the current unprecedented demand and the usual problems with labor shortages and supply chain problems due to the pandemic continue to throw a wrench into production.

“As we continue to see elevated and sustained demand, we want to ensure that there’s enough cream cheese for bagels, cheesecakes, and everything in-between,” says marketing director Basak Oguz. "We’re excited to share that we’re investing millions of dollars so Philadelphia cream cheese will be available to anyone that wants it, wherever they like to shop, for the next 150 years and beyond.”

NOW...if you are like, "Who needs $20? I want to make a cheesecake!" Here's my recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake...


  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk


  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks


1. Stir gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and melted butter together in a bowl until mixture resembles sand. Stir 1 egg yolk into crumbs until thoroughly combined and crust mixture holds its shape when pressed.

2. Move a rack to the center position in oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

3. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray, spread crumbs into pan, and press crumbs into a firm crust going about 1 inch up the side of the pan. Place the pan on a heavy sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan to the rim, crumpling it close to the pan and making a barrier to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake. Place the foil and springform pan into a large roasting pan.

4. Place cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, and white sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Raise speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 more minutes.

5. Place pumpkin puree in a separate large mixing bowl; stir in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, vanilla extract, and bourbon whiskey until combined. Whisk 1/4 cup flour into pumpkin mixture, followed by eggs and yolks. Whisk cream cheese mixture into pumpkin mixture until filling is completely smooth and free of lumps. Pour filling into crust; use a spatula to lightly and rapidly jiggle the filling in the center of the cheesecake to help shake out any bubbles.

6. Carefully place cheesecake in roasting pan onto center rack of oven and fill roasting pan with enough very hot (almost boiling) water to reach halfway up the side of springform pan.

7. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filling reads 155 to 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check temperature after 1 1/2 hours. Filling will still be slightly jiggly in the center.

8. Turn off oven heat and open oven door for a few seconds to let out most of the hot air. Use a thin knife to separate cheesecake edge from inside of pan to help prevent cracking. Close oven door almost all the way, leaving a small opening (about 1 inch) to release additional heat. Let cheesecake cool in warm oven for 1 hour to finish setting. Remove cheesecake from water bath and let cool to room temperature on a counter, 2 to 3 more hours. Cover cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

9. Use a folded paper towel to remove any moisture that has formed on top of the cheesecake before releasing and carefully lifting the pan from the cheesecake.

Thanks to AllRecipes...I modified this just a bit... Enjoy!

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