November 27, 2014

mini pumpkin cheesecakes

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm writing this post a day ahead of time because tomorrow I will be busy doubly stuffing my face. That's right - I've got two Thanksgiving meals to attend. It's going to be all about strategy to ensure that I do not injure myself. I'm looking forward to spending the day with family. My mom is the only one who still lives close by, so the three of us are going to enjoy a quiet, intimate meal together. Heather's family, on the other hand, is gigantic. Babies, children, dogs, & a dozen or so adults make for energetic get-togethers with lots of playful yelling & laughter. The contrasting gatherings are always a riot. 
For Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, I'm bringing these teensy tiny pumpkin cheesecakes with a graham cracker crust. This recipe is almost the same as the last cheesecake I made, only instead of sour cream I used canned pumpkin. My friend (the same one who let me in on the caramel sauce secret) related this genius idea to me last year & it was a huge success. This year I decided to miniaturize them (with the fleeting hope of some portion control). 


  • 3 cups crushed graham crackers (I used a food processor to crumble mine)
  • 3/4 cups (12 tablespoons) melted butter
  • 2/3 cups sugar 
  • Cupcake liners 
  • Two muffin tins (3x4)
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree 
  • Whipped cream (for topping)

To make the graham cracker crust, preheat oven to 350° F (this is the same temperature you will bake the cheesecakes at if you want to leave the oven on). Mix the graham cracker crumbs & the sugar in a bowl. Then combine with the melted butter. 

Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Spoon the graham cracker mixture into the liners & press along the bottom to form the crust. 

Bake for 7 minutes, & set aside. 

To make the filling, preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix together the cream cheese & sugar. using a mixer or by hand (arm workout!). Mix until the cream cheese is completely blended. 

Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, & salt. Mix in the pumpkin puree until mixture is completely blended. 

Spoon the filling into your graham cracker crusts. Do not overfill. Bake for 40-45 minutes. The cheesecakes are done when they jiggle & have slightly browned. Insert a knife or toothpick in the center of the cheesecakes to test doneness. Let them cool before removing from the muffin tins. When the cheesecakes have cooled, set in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving (I prefer mine to sit in the fridge for 12 hours before eating). Serve with whipped topping. 
Happy eating, everyone! Don't forget to ponder what you're thankful for this year. For me it's my health, my happy home, my girlfriend, & of course, you guys. 


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