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December 4, 2013

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I really need to cut down on sweets and over-eating until Christmas week, because I'll totally fall off my semi healthy wagon and start the new year as a sad chubby chub. That being said, don't even think for a second that I didn't enjoy Thanksgiving and all the food it had to bring! I did a little bit of baking myself, and to be honest, I'm a bit of a genius (just pat myself on the back there a little bit).Though I followed this recipe, I did alter a million and one things because as per usual, I didn't really read the recipe before I stepped into the kitchen, so I needed to do some tweaking. I made my cheesecakes in sprayed cupcake tins without liners, rather than the mini spring pan, because I don't have one (I've never made cheesecake before so I don't have all of the fancy bakeware for it). The way I did it worked out just fine though, so if you're like me and cupcake tins are all you have, go for it with those.Filling:
// 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
// 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
// 3/4 cup granulated sugar
// 3 eggs
// 1/8 cup heavy cream
// 1 tsp. vanilla extract
// 1 tsp. cinnamon
// 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
// 3/4 tsp. nutmeg

Crust:
// 8-10 cinnamon graham crackers
// 1/4 cup melted butter
// pinch of salt

Cream:
// 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
// 2 tbsp. granulated sugar1// Smash graham crackers in a plastic bag into crumbs and combine with the melted butter. Scoop into the sprayed tins and pack crumbs into the bottom with a spoon.
2// Bake crusts on 325*F for about 5 minutes, or until the crumbs begin to turn a bit dark brown.
3// While those bake, mix together the cream cheese at room temperature and the pumpkin until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, eggs, spices, and heavy cream until well blended.
4// Spoon the filling on top of the baked crusts and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the cheesecake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out basically clean.
5// Let cool for a bit in the tins, then use a spoon to loosen the edges and remove each cheesecake from the pan to continue cooling for another 20 minutes.
6// Whip heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form and top each cheesecake with a dollop. Let cheesecakes sit in the fridge until ready to serve, at least a couple of hours.
*makes 24 mini cheesecakes.I really enjoyed making these, they were a lot easier than I thought they would be once I got the hang of it. I don't really have all of the necessary mixing equipment, and usually do everything by hand with no problem, but for all of the cream cheese I could have really used a stand mixer. But I did it, and I lived, so it's not too necessary, it would just make life a looooooot easier. If you're like me and you think baking cheesecake seems intimidating, just try these out, they will change the way you feel about the matter. My family devoured these, so I'm sure yours will too!

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