Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mini Pumpkin-Shaped Pumpkin Cheesecakes

It just doesn't get any cuter than this people.

Individual desserts are pretty adorable to begin with - but when they take the shape of an ingredient? Oy.

I should probably start by explaining why I have a mini pumpkin cheesecake pan. As Alton Brown would say, it isn't quite a kitchen multi-tasker.
So I didn't purchase this baby, but I did win it on BakingBites.com! That's right, Nicole of BakingBites ran a giveaway for the pan and a copy of her cookbook, and I actually won! And of course I've been trying out things from her cookbook too - posts to come.

Anyway, back to the cheesecake. With the cream cheese and pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg....
Yum.
These have a graham cracker crust, pressed down in to the bottom and baked first, then topped with the filling. It was really pretty simple, the most time is probably spent dividing everything up between the 12.
My friend Tali thought they weren't quite festive enough, so she decided to update it a little.
And then I made her eat it. To each her own.
I had no problem eating mine.

Now, obviously I don't expect you all to have your very own pumpkin cheesecake pan. I would say you can make it in a muffin pan, only hesitantly, since it may be difficult to get them out. These have removable bottoms, so you just have to lift them up and take off the plate underneath.

This amount would probably be about right for a 9 inch pie - but you may need more crust.

Recipe:
Crust:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
2 tbsp sugar

Filling:
12 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Divide equally among 12 muffin tins - about a heaping teaspoon in each - and press down with your fingers.
Bake on 325 for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Beat together the cream cheese and sugar. Mix in the eggs one at a time, and add in the vanilla.
Mix in the pumpkin and spices. Stir until completely combined and uniform in color.
Divide equally among the pans.
Bake on 300 (note a temperature change) for 18 to 20 minutes, until set.
Let cool for 30 minutes on wire rack, then place in fridge to cool for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before removing from pan.

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