Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes (with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Swirl!)

Slightly adapted from Streaming Gourmet.

I've long wanted to make a pumpkin cheesecake, and had been promising myself that I would one of these years and finally this Christmas I said to myself "Why wait another year...? Make them now!" I know cheesecakes are one of those things that tend to overwhelm people, and are intimidating and difficult. But these were not! My whole goal with Christmas desserts this year was finger food, something you could easily grab and eat while still moving around and enjoying your day. And these along with the Peppermint Brownies and Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips were the perfect thing for a laid back Christmas dessert! These cheesecakes are ridiculously easy, yet creamy, smooth, everything you want in a cheesecake but in mini form. Now these are delicious without the cream cheese swirl on top, but you know me and no dessert can go un-garnished! It was a great way to use up the leftover cream cheese frosting from the Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip cookies I made a couple weeks ago. And you know how I love to re-use products to make something new!

Ingredients: made 24 cheesecakes
24 paper cupcake liners
24 gingersnap cookies
12 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Cream Cheese Swirl:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Line 24 muffin cups with papers. Place one gingersnap cookie, flat side down, into the bottom of each cup. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and spice's with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute. Using an ice cream scoop, pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Chill for 1 hour. To make cream cheese swirl, combine the ingredients in your mixer, and mix on low until the sugar is all incorporated and then whip on medium-high speed until light and smooth. Either scoop a little dollop onto each cheesecake, or using a piping bag, pipe a swirl on top of each one. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

These were delightfully easy, and scrumptious. There were only a few left when we came home Sunday night, and those were gone pretty fast! Such a nice combo of holiday flavors into a delightful dessert that most love, but also in a finger food format. A nice addition to any meal. This would be a great base to invent other mini cheesecake recipes too! 4.5 stars.

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