Some of my favorite recipes are those that I concocted when I was first getting into cooking/baking in college. I always tried one recipe and wasn’t sold on it, so I would combine it’s features with another recipe’s ingredients and find the perfect balance between them to make one ultimate version. No doubt, my favorite channel was food network. My roommates loved that I loved to spend so much time in the kitchen when I wasn’t busy with classes.
Mini pumpkin cheesecakes were always a hit at our annual Friendsgiving with our college friends. When there is a plethora of options at holiday get-togethers, leftovers are inevitable. These mini cheesecakes freeze beautifully, so you won’t have to feel like you need to eat them all in one week–although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. When I make this many individual desserts (this recipe serves 2 ½ dozen muffin sized individual cheesecakes), it is nice to have leftovers because then you can pull them out for entertaining on a moment’s notice.
INDIVIDUAL PUMPKIN CHEESECAKES
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST:
- 6 tablespoons of butter
- 1 ½ cups ginger snaps
- 1 cup pecans
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- pinch of salt
DIRECTIONS FOR BAKING CRUST:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Pulse all ingredients food processor until combined. Place muffin liners in muffin pans.
Note: You can either use 2 ½ dozen muffin cups (30), or 2 dozen muffin cups and 2 dozen mini bite size muffin cups.
Scoop one tablespoon of crust mixture into each muffin cup, or ½ teaspoon of crust mixture if using bite size muffin liners. Then press or pack down to cover bottom of muffin liner.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 2 (8 ounce) containers of mascarpone
- 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS FOR CHEESECAKE FILLING:
Preheat to 350 degrees F.
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor (I am maxed out on capacity when I use my 11-cup food processor). Scrape down sides of food processor after pulsing to make sure everything is getting evenly distributed.
Bake regular muffin sized cheesecakes for 30 minutes. Bake mini bite sized cheesecakes for 15 minutes.
Recipe note: If you’d rather make a traditional cheesecake in a spring form pan, Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 45 minutes (in a water bath–make sure you wrap the outside of pan with foil to prevent water from seeping into the spring form pan). Turn oven off, leave cheesecake in oven for 1 more hour after opening the oven door for a moment to let some heat out. Refrigerate for 8 hours.