Death Masks by Kim Richards ~ Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza

The pumpkin version of this cheesecake became a favorite of my Mom before she passed. I made it for every fall and winter family gathering. Give it a try! ~Kim Richards

Sweet Potato/Pumpkin Cheesecake

For Crust
2 Cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies crushed)
6 Tbsp melted butter
Or (for a more keto/carb friendly version) substitute crushed walnuts for cookie crumbs and butter.

For Filling:

3-8 oz packages softened cream cheese
½ Cup butter melted
1 1/3 Cups sugar (or mix half brown sugar and half white if preferred) can substitute stevia
1 Cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp bourbon (or 1 tsp. almond flavoring)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Eggs

Note: The recipe says sweet potato or pumpkin.  You can use either or do a mixture of half pumpkin and half sweet potato if you like.

For Topping:

1 ½ Cups sour cream
2 Tbsp sugar (or stevia)
1 ½ tsp. burbon (or vanilla)
Ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients and stir to mix well.  Press crumb crust into the bottom and 1-inch up sides of a buttered 10 ½ spring form pan.  Bake crust in a 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes until just starting to deepen in color.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl (or food processor) combine filling ingredients, beat until smooth. 

Pour batter into the prepared crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees and continue baking for 35 minutes; Then again, turn oven temperature down to 250 degrees and continue baking 20-30 minutes until cheesecake is set around the edges and barely jiggles at the center.  Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Dust with cinnamon if desired. Bake for five minutes to just set the topping. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover and chill for several hours, remove from pan and serve.  

Makes 16 servings.

Death Masks 
Author’s New Updated Edition
Kim Richards

Genre:  Thriller
Publisher: Kim Richards
Date of Publication:  June 3, 2020
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952564-01-7
Audio:  978-1-952564-50-5
Number of pages:  146
Word Count: 53,826

Cover Artist: Dawné Dominique DusktilDawn Designs

Tagline:    Let’s hunt a serial murderer!

Book Description: 

Bill Cristo reluctantly takes up an exercise routine. One evening, he takes a jog and comes face-to-face with a killer. His local metro park is no longer safe for anyone. Unsure of why he survived that first encounter, Bill is determined to catch the murderer before anyone else dies. Then it sets its sights on his girlfriend.

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Listen to a Soundcloud 15 minute Excerpt 


It took less than a second for the young man to fall. Impact with the hard ground cut off his yelp. He rolled on his back with wide eyes. His fear, thick and tangible, mingled with the stench of rotted leaves and dust as the syringe’s needle pushed into his skin, taking a moment to pierce the earliest layers of flesh.

Standing back, emotionless brown eyes watched him thrash and struggle to scramble to his feet. The poor bastard looked drunk. It waited, breathing steadily as the jogger’s cries faded and his body fell back among loose sticks, pebbles and crumbling leaves. The predator strode a few steps forward to stand over the man’s shuddering form. It bent low, leaning just enough to peer deep into the wide pale blue eyes of its now-paralyzed victim. Then it grasped the man’s ankles and dragged him into the shadows, among the low foliage, and set to work.

About the Author:

Kim Richards lives in Northern California where she works for the County Disease Control Covid 19 Task Force as clerical support for testing. She loves to sew, write, garden, and read. She also enjoys crafting to relax and is always looking for new ways to create.

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