Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Wait a minute, its not October anymore! Where did the month of pumpkin go!? 

My sister is out of town this week for school so she missed these...

...which means I'm kind of bored these days. So, let me share some text messages.

Me: You dont wana know what i made when yusif and naven came over.... mini pumpkin cheesecakes.

Me: I made half of them with oreo crusts and the other half with a gingersnap cookie crust. Gingersnap was yummier

An oreo crust (seen above) is delicious, but I really liked the gingersnap flavor better! I also tried grinding up the gingersnaps alone and combining with butter. Its still good, but the pecans and graham cracker and brown sugar make the taste buds dance.

The recipe says it makes 12 mini cheesecakes. I had tripled the recipe, thinking I would get 36 but I got 59. So if you make one batch, I'm guessing you'll get about 20.

By the way, found this one off Pinterest again! Mini cheesecakes are great if you are short on time because they bake in less than 20 minutes and cool quickly in the freezer or fridge.

Your cheesecakes may sink or crack alittle, but to help prevent this, open the oven door when the cheesecakes are done baking. Turn the oven off, and let them cool for 15 minutes inside the oven. Then remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
via Life Made Simple
Yield: 20 mini cheesecakes

1 package (8 oz) Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
½ c. pumpkin puree
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. heavy cream
¼ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¹⁄₈ tsp. nutmeg

For the crust:
8 gingersnap cookies
1 graham cracker
1½  tbsp. melted butter
1½ tsp. brown sugar
¼ c. pecans
pinch of salt

For the vanilla bean whipped cream:
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar {I used 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar}
Seeds from ¼ a vanilla bean {I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract but a bean would be yummier}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan with baking spray. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust, except for the melted butter. The mixture should resemble slightly coarse crumbs. Remove mixture and pour melted butter over. Mix until crumbs are wet. Press into the bottom of each hole. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes or set aside {I did not prebake my crust}.

3. While crust is baking prepare filling beating together cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin puree until smooth. Add spices, vanilla, heavy cream and egg. Mix until just combined.

4. Pour filling over each crust, dividing evenly. Place in oven and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing cheesecakes (yes your cheesecakes will sink a little, this is normal). To reduce cracks, open oven door and turn the oven off. After 15 minutes, remove cheesecake from oven.

5. Remove cheesecakes from pan using a butter knife, and place cheesecakes in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

6. While cheesecakes are cooling, prepare vanilla bean whipped cream by fitting a chilled mixing bowl into your stand mixer. Add heavy cream, sugar and scraped vanilla bean seeds. Using the whisk attachment beat on high for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks begin to form. Return to refrigerator until cheesecakes are ready to be served.

7. To assemble, using a mesh sieve, lightly dust cheesecakes with pumpkin pie spice before or after topping with a swirl of whipped cream. Enjoy!

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