Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Delicious!  Not only do these look pretty darn cute on a serving platter, you will love how they taste.  A couple quick bites of pure pumpkin cheesecake heaven ….

pumpkin-cheesecake-minis

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
8 gingersnap cookies
1 graham cracker rectangle
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBSP melted butter

For the cheesecakes:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger

For whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack in the lower third of your oven. Lightly grease a 12-cup mini cheesecake pan or mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust (except for melted butter) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add melted butter and process until crumbs resemble wet sand. Press mixture by the tablespoon (1/2 Tbsp. if using a mini muffin pan) into each cheesecake/muffin pan cup*. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare cheesecake. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin puree with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix in egg, heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until just combined. Evenly pour filling over each crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before removing cheesecakes from pan.

Remove cheesecakes from pan by gently running a blunt knife around the edges of each cheesecake and popping out.

Before serving, prepare whipped cream. Beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to dollop on top of cheesecakes.

If these get past your original serving, refrigerate the rest until they disappear!

Mexican Chocolate Snow Caps

These delicious little bites were waiting for Hayley, Sloan, Stella and I when we arrived at big sister Meghan’s house – you can’t have just one!  She made them as peppermint, and they are fabulous.  Gluten free too!

 

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8 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped

2 tbsp butter

1 1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs (room temperature)

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp ancho chile powder 

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Sifted icing sugar to roll cookies

In a heatproof bowl (over pan of gently simmering water) melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in almonds and salt.

in a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add in chocolate mixture and spices.  Fold until well blended.  Cover and put in the fridge until very firm – about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Form dough into 1 1/4″ balls.  Roll balls in icing sugar.  

Place 2″ apart on trays.  Bake until puffed, starting to crack on top and the edges are firm – about 12 minutes.

So easy to switch these up and make them into Peppermint Caps – substitute the chile powder and cinnamon for 1 tsp peppermint extract.