Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

As I have previously stated: I have strange food tendencies, they have no rhyme or reason. pumpkin is a prime example- not a fan by itself. Ech is my normal reaction. However, in conjunction with caramel I am suddenly enamored with it. I have made several different versions lately, but this was the one that pleased my palate the most. Plus, I heart cheesecake dips, there's a plethora of variations you can put together and constantly create new flavor combinations...and they're relatively simple to make. I find I adore simplistic dishes that taste complex.

The inspiration for this particular one came about due to my cousin's allergy to...chocolate. Yes, she's that person, ruining it for the rest of us;) haha Anyways, I was heading over for her lil fatty's first birthday and I wanted to make some desserts she could consume. I am a good cousin. Are you reading this, B? You know this is a factual statement.

There are two ways you can make this; one is homemade and the other is more Sandra Lee "semi homemade" style. Which, I feel that if it has more than three ingredients and I make it at home, there's zilch that's semi about it, but you know, that's just my two cents.

version one uses cool whip(if you can find french vanilla, get that) softened
version two uses 6 oz whipping cream
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 tbsp pumpkin spice 
2 1/2 tbsp caramel sauce

***To make whip cream: pour cold whipping cream into bowl and mix till peaks begin to form, add the 1/2 tbsp pumpkin & 1/2 caramel sauce at this point, mixing thoroughly/cool whip version- add 1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice & 1/2 tbsp caramel to the cool whip, be careful to fold and not over mix, as this will remove the "whipped" factor from the cool whip. Next mix together 1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice, 1/2 tbsp caramel sauce and cream cheese together. Then fold the cream cheese mixture into the cool whip/cream and add remaining pumpkin and caramel, folding lightly to incorporate fully. Refrigerate for at least two hours.  Drizzle top w/caramel sauce.

I like to serve this with either graham crackers or apples. It's good any time of the year, but fall obviously is where this tasty treat packs a more powerful punch. 

Here are a few other pics from Ethan's Mickey Party. Hot Dog Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog. If you have more than likely got that.

 Please excuse the sideways pics...I'll fix when I get to my computer, For some reason this one won't let me rotate.
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