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Christi Johnstone

www.lovefromtheoven.com

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Bite-Sized Perfection

November 20, 2013

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away. Where did the year go? It’s time to start figuring out the Thanksgiving menu. In our family, the Thanksgiving dinner menu pretty much stays the same from year to year, but I like to try and work some new recipes into dessert. These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes are a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. They have lots of delicious pumpkin taste and a fun flavor spin thanks to a gingersnap crust.

One of the things that I love most about them is that they are mini! It’s easy to get a bit too full on Thanksgiving, so I love the idea of mini dessert options. Minis also allow you to sample a variety of delicious desserts. A little entertaining tip, while guests may not always want to indulge in desserts after a big holiday meal, almost everyone is happy to enjoy a bite size dessert such as these.

I adapted this recipe from Kraft’s PHILADELPHIA 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. If you want to make a full size cheesecake, this would be a great way to go. It is such a simple cheesecake to make, which is great – some cheesecake recipes can be a bit intimidating!

PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese has a fun new program for the holiday season called Cheesecake Cheer. No matter what kind of cheesecake you like, Cheesecake Cheer has something for everyone! Check out Cheesecake Cheer for plenty of great inspiration this holiday season. I have a mini cheesecake pan that makes these easy to make and get out of the pan. The bottoms of each cavity pop out of the pan, which makes the cheesecakes so easy to remove. This recipe makes the perfect amount for this pan which makes 12 mini cheesecakes. You could also use a muffin pan, but I think you would probably get about 8 or 9 mini cheesecakes from it.

The crust is made by crushing gingersnap cookies in the food processor than adding in some melted butter.

After combining the butter and gingersnaps in my food processor, I scooped the cookie crumbs into my pan, putting about 1 tablespoon into each cavity. After filling the pan, I used a small cup to help compact my crust. Once the crust is prepared it’s time to make the cheesecake filling, which is incredibly easy.

The cheesecake filling comes together in no time in your mixer, and then you simply spoon it into your pan, on top of your gingersnap crust, and bake. After baking you will want to let it cool for at least two hours, and ideally overnight. I’m all for Thanksgiving recipes that are even better when made in advance! Anything to make the big day a little easier.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Minis with Gingersnap Crust
Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 25 minutes • Serves: 12 (1 per serving)

Ingredients

Crust
24 Gingersnap Cookies
3 Tbsp. melted butter

Cheesecake Filling
1 package (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
¼ tsp. salt (optional)
COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (optional)
Caramel sauce (optional)

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 350˚F.

GRIND gingersnap cookies to crumbs in a food processor. Add melted butter and pulse until mixed.

LIGHTLY spray mini cheesecake pan with non stick cooking spray.

PLACE approximately 1 tablespoon of gingersnap crust mixture into each of the 12 cheesecake cavities in pan. Press down with spoon or small glass.

BEAT cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, salt and spices with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and beat until just blended.

SPOON cream cheese mixture into mini cheesecake pan on top of gingersnap crusts. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for at least 30 minutes. Chill for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. Garnish with caramel, whipped cream, pecans or other toppings of your choice.

For more recipes and ideas, visit my blog at www.lovefromtheoven.com.

Bite-Sized Perfection
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