Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

I *think* I'm done Christmas shopping!  Although I will probably end up picking up some last minute things as usual.  I am feeling full of holiday cheer and really looking forward to some time off spent with family and friends.  

I actually made these mini pumpkin cheesecakes for Thanksgiving but I'm finally getting to post them now!  I know typically pumpkin is appropriate for the fall...but I personally love it all year long!   Why not add it to your holiday baking list?  These were a hit!  The kids especially gobbled them up...and some people didn't even get a chance to try them!  They are a great bite sized dessert that is packed full of flavor and topped with deliciously creamy vanilla bean whipped cream.  

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream 
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 eight ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked and mashed fresh pumpkin)
1 egg plus 1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup heavy whipping cream
powdered sugar to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line mini cupcake pan with paper liners.     In a medium bowl, mix crust ingredients until well combined. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Press crumbs firmly on bottom and 1/3 up sides of each cup using your fingertips or the bottom of a cap or cup. Bake until just set, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.  Set aside.
2. In a separate medium bowl, blend filling ingredients together until smooth. Spoon this mixture into each crust-lined cup, dividing evenly.
4. Place  pan into the preheated oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan.  Let cheesecakes cool completely on wire rack then refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Just before serving, combine the cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whip until soft peaks form. Serve the cheesecakes topped with the cinnamon whipped cream.
Source: adapted from Pinch My Salt

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