Suburban Sweets: Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

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Thanksgiving is, for many adults, the best day of the year.  Unlike that other cold weather holiday, Thanksgiving does not require you to know that your nephew likes WWF action figures (any other gift will elicit an indifferent response.)  It does not require a separate savings account to pay for said action figures (along with the 30 other gifts you will be purchasing.)  It does not require house decorations or gift wrapping or holiday cards.  Thanksgiving is not about spending exorbitant amounts of money or time on preparations.  It is quite simply about gratitude.  It’s about taking a step back and truly appreciating the good in our lives, all while eating to our hearts’ content.  What can be better than that?

While the entire Thanksgiving meal is enough to make my mouth water, the part that makes me most eager for the holiday is – you guessed it – dessert. Quintessential Thanksgiving desserts often mimic, or at least complement, the autumnal flavors of the meal.  Ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potato and pecans may very well be part of your main course and then, make an encore appearance at dessert. This Thanksgiving, I will be preparing individual pumpkin cheesecakes; they are luscious little treats and can be easily prepared ahead of time.  Enjoy!

Suburban Sweets: Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 12 individual pumpkin cheesecakes

Suburban Sweets: 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/suburban-sweets-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

 

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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