So when the weather starts to drop, I like to bake. Keeps the house warm because the oven is on. Like my days of growing up without heat in Astoria. I'm kidding we had heat…sometimes.
Anyway – these little cheesecakes are so cute and nums, and they're great for entertaining because they're bite size. I'm actually making them for Thanksgiving this year. I took my moms basic cheesecake recipe, cut it down a little, added pumpkin, spice, and made them in a mini muffin pan. Result: Teeny deliciousness.
Recipe – Yields about 24-30 (I made 24 but there was a little extra batter)
2 packages Philly cream cheese (8. oz each) ,softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground clove (optional – I didn't use it because I didn't have it)
Green sugar decorating sprinkles (also optional – I thought it was festive)
For the graham cracker crusts:
6 sheets of graham cracker cookies (recommended: Nabisco Grahams or Honey Maid)
3 tsps butter (feel free to add a little more if the crumbs are too loose – this happens to me occasionally)
Add crackers in food processor and blend until pretty finely ground. Add in the few tsps of butter and blend again for a few seconds. Grease the mini muffin pan with spray or butter (I used butter). Pack a bit of crumbs into the bottom of each mini muffin cup.
TIP: A good trick for the crust if you're feeling lazy is to take a Nilla wafer cookie or your other favorite small cookie and put it in the bottom of the greased muffin pan. Instant mini crust!
Sour Cream Topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsps sugar
Mix together. That's it. Save for later when the cheesecakes are cooled for "dolloping".
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl on medium speed. Add eggs ONE at a time. I dont know why but my mom says this is important and I trust her. Beat until just blended. DONT overmix.
Pour batter into the mini muffin cups.
Bake at 350 for 30 mins or until the center is just set. They will puff up a little and sometimes crack on the sides - this is not the end of the world. That's what the sour cream and sugar topping is for – duh.