I don't know about you, but I could eat pumpkin year-round. It's definitely a lot harder to find after the beginning of the new year, but it can still be found in grocery stores now. Don't get me wrong, I love traditions, but anytime I get a chance to break tradition and do something new, I go for it. I mean, I got married at a dog race in Alaska for Pete's sake! Anyway, for those of you who still have some pumpkin hanging out in your cupboard, it's time to whip it out and try this new recipe. I made these mini cinnamon cheesecakes with pumpkin pie "frosting" on Thanksgiving and they were gone within 24 hours. I took some of them to work and everyone asked for the recipe, they were so amazing. You literally take a perfect pumpkin pie and pipe it onto these perfectly spiced cheesecakes. Brilliant! I tweaked the original recipe a little bit to make it even better. Also, the original recipe calls for ginger snap crust, but I feel that the spices from the ginger would take away from the cinnamon, so I decided to make a graham cracker crust instead. The quickest way to do this is to bake the pumpkin pie first, then the graham cracker crusts, then the cheesecakes. Also, be make sure that your eggs and cream cheese are room temperature before starting on the cheesecakes. Enjoy!
MINI CINNAMON CHEESECAKES WITH PUMPKIN PIE FROSTING
Graham Cracker Crust:
-Approx. 1/2 cup crushed honey graham crackers
-3 tbsp melted butter
-1 tbsp sugar
Pumpkin Pie "Frosting":
-1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 cup evaporated milk
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-2 blocks of cream cheese (8 oz each), room temperature
-1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-1/3 cup heavy cream
-1 1/2 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
-1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
You Will Also Need:
-Regular 12 count cupcake pan
To make the crust:
Prepare 12 baking cups with paper liners. Crush the graham crackers in either a food processor or a gallon size bag. Mix together the three crust ingredients until well blended. Scoop 1 tablespoon of crust into each baking cup, and press down to pack firm. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove and set aside.
To Make Cinnamon Cheesecakes:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar, then mix on medium-speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla and cinnamon, and mix until smooth. Do not over mix. Pour batter into each crust-prepared baking cup until 3/4 full.
Once your pot of water is boiling, carefully place a large baking dish on the lower rack of your oven and pull the rack out a few inches towards you, and then pour the water into it. This will create a water bath that will give off lots of steam while the cheesecake bakes.
Then place the cheesecake pan in the oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges appear to be set and the center still has a slight jiggle to it. Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly for 5 minutes. Then remove the pan and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Top with pumpkin pie frosting.
To Make Pumpkin Pie Frosting:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased 9-inch pie pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. Remove and let cool, then refrigerate.
When ready to “frost” the cheesecakes, remove the pumpkin pie and spoon the filling into a piping bag. Use as you would regular frosting.