Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites


While at my weekly grocery shopping trip, I walked by a main aisle special display of canned pumpkin and spontaneously threw (well, placed) a can in my cart.  At that moment I didn't know what I was going to do with it but I just knew I had to make a pumpkin dessert.  It is fall after all!  Those merchandisers are so smart.

Since I was heading towards the refrigerated items aisle, I decided to grab some cream cheese there, thinking that I would most likely end up trying some sort of pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  Cheesecake is after all, my weakness!  I'm no Cheesecake Factory, but I can make a pretty decent mini (plain) one when the occasion calls for it.  Pumpkin cheesecake on the other hand...totally foreign to me.

I looked up some recipes and mixed and matched a few of them to come up with this easy version that was so yummy, and perfect for fall!

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
1 1/5 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 TB brown sugar
3 TB butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling:
1 - 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 TB sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
whipped cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.  I used the mini tins and ended up with 24 cheesecake bites but you could use regular muffin tins and you'll end up with 12 regular sized mini cheesecakes.

Prepare crust by mixing all crust ingredients together in small bowl.  Place about a tablespoon in each  muffin tin and press firmly (a shot glass works fantastically for this!).


Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Beat in the brown sugar, pumpkin, sour cream and salt.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until all ingredients are well combined.  

Scoop the filling on top of your crusts.  For the cheesecake bites, I used about a TB in each tin.

Bake for 17-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for another 20 minutes.  Place in refrigerator for 2 hours before eating. (Confession: hubby and I ate a couple before refrigerating and they tasted great already!)

Garnish with some whipped cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.  Enjoy!


xo,

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