Prepare Dessert Ahead: Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros

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This post is part of our series on Thanksgiving Tips from Our Pros. To see more tips, click here: Thanksgiving Tips from the Pros.

Have a question of your own? Ask our experts in our live chat at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6. We might feature your question (and its answer) in print.

I’m Josephine D’Ippolito, the Suburban Sweets columnist.

My expertise: I bake.  All the time.  And have been doing so for about 25 years.  I have accumulated countless recipes and tricks and enjoy sharing my best ideas – the ones most requested by family and friends – with the Small Bites community.

Thanksgiving tip: When it comes to dessert for this football-watching, family-gathering, eating-without-abandon holiday, prepare it ahead of time! There are so many pies, cookies and cakes that can, and sometimes should, be prepared well in advance.  Personally, I will be making individual pumpkin cheesecakes two days prior to Thanksgiving. The extra time I’ll have for football, family and food will make me particularly, and appropriately, thankful.

Suburban Sweets Thanksgiving: Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 12 individual pumpkin cheesecakes

Suburban Sweets Thanksgiving: Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • Crust ingredients:
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely ground walnuts
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Filling ingredients:
  • 1 - 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Topping ingredients:
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Shelled walnuts for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a standard-sized cupcake pan with 12 foil liners.
  2. Make crust: In a medium bowl, stir together all crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs through cinnamon) until mixture resembles wet sand. Spoon about a tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake liner. Press down on crumbs to compact the crust, making it as flat as possible. Bake crusts for 5 minutes.
  3. Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat together all filling ingredients (cream cheese through salt) until well combined. Pour filling into cupcake pans; each cup should be filled almost to the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes; the cakes will deflate a bit.
  4. Make topping: In a small bowl, stir sour cream and sugar until well combined. Spread topping on top of cheesecakes and bake 5 additional minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and garnish with shelled walnuts, if desired. Allow to cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/11/05/prepare-dessert-ahead-thanksgiving-tips-from-our-pros/

Ingredients

Crust ingredients:

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup finely ground walnuts

¼ cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling ingredients:

1 – 8 ounce bar of cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup pureed pumpkin

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Topping ingredients:

¾ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Shelled walnuts for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a standard-sized cupcake pan with 12 foil liners.

Make crust: In a medium bowl, stir together all crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs through cinnamon) until mixture resembles wet sand. Spoon about a tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake liner.  Press down on crumbs to compact the crust, making it as flat as possible.  Bake crusts for 5 minutes.

Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat together all filling ingredients (cream cheese through salt) until well combined. Pour filling into cupcake pans; each cup should be filled almost to the top.  Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes; the cakes will deflate a bit.

Make topping: In a small bowl, stir sour cream and sugar until well combined. Spread topping on top of cheesecakes and bake 5 additional minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with shelled walnuts, if desired. Allow to cool completely in pan, about 1 hour.  Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

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About Author

Suburban Sweets columnist Josephine D’Ippolito is a baking enthusiast whose passion began more than twenty years ago, when, on a whim, she and her college friend made a single batch of cookies from scratch. One husband, three children and thousands of cookies later, Josephine enjoys the creative and culinary process of baking more than ever. Older, wiser and slightly more health conscious, she tends to justify her habit by making her desserts on the tiny side. Quite possibly her favorite day of the year is her annual cookie exchange held each December, when she gets to revel in the talent and sweetness of her dearest family and friends.

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