Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

I love cheesecake. I love pumpkin. Put the two together and I am in heaven. Plus it is Fall and it is just time for some pumpkin in your life! I actually made these last week and put them in the freezer for Sunday night small group. I knew I would be gone all weekend and get home just in time to unpack and head out the door to the Sunday night feasting so I needed something I could fix ahead of time. I found this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. The recipe was fine but I did change just a few things and added a few things of my own.

If my picture enticed you then you can scroll down for the recipe. But just remember that cheesecake never happens fast! It was fast to mix it up, but it takes 40 minutes to bake and then needs to be chilled in the fridge for several hours. Plan to make these to eat the next day unless you can make them in the morning and chill them during the day.

I have found with this recipe you should get all your ingredients out and measured first so it takes less time to mix it together. I am posting it all together to make it easier for you to copy and paste if you want to print it but there are pictures after that for you visual people.

Spiced Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

12 oz. (1 1/2 pkg.) low fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Stevia
2 Tbsp. Splenda Brown Sugar (or 1/4 cup sucanat or regular brown sugar)
2 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
2 Eggs
7/8 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
2 Tbsp. Plain Greek Yogurt or light Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. White Whole Wheat Flour (use white flour if you must)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/3 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
pinch of salt

Optional Crust Ingredients:  Two Honey Graham Kids Clif Bars,  about 6 low sugar cookies or graham crackers, and 2 Tbsp. melted Earth Balance or other buttery spread. Crumble bars and/or cookies in a food processor, add melted butter, and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with foil baking cups sprayed well with cooking spray. Press crust mixture into cups with the back of a spoon if you are choosing to use it.

Using a hand mixer cream together cream cheese, Stevia, Splenda brown sugar, and agave nectar. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low speed. Do not mix on high after the eggs have been added.

Add remaining ingredients and gently combine with mixer. Fill foil baking cups 3/4 full. You should get 12-15 cheesecakes. (I get 15 everytime because I have the added crust.)

Bake 40-45 minutes or until cheesecakes look set and feel barely firm on top. They will puff up and then sink down while cooling. Allow to cool 30 minutes and then chill for at least 4 hours.

Serve with whip cream and agave nectar drizzled over the top.

The original recipe did not call for a crust so I improvised because what's a cheesecake without a crust. I used 2 of these Clif Kids Z Bars because I had them laying around and 6 of Anna's thin ginger cookies and processed them with a little melted Earth Balance. You can really use just about any kind of cookie or bar you would like to make a great crust.

Anna's are a great thin little cookie but they do have a decent amount of sugar in them. I also love Back to Nature cookies because they are made with whole wheat flour and have less sugar but I didn't have any of those. Back to Nature also makes the best graham sticks! You can find those at Wal-Mart in the cracker/cookie aisle and in any health food section usually.

After you mix it with the butter. Take about a teaspoon full and press it into the cups. I did bake this for about 5 minutes this time but you don't have to.

I actually broke out this hand mixer to do the job. It is as old as my marriage and both are still going strong! You don't want to over mix this recipe so leave the Kitchen Aid alone this time. Cream together your cream cheese, Stevia, Splenda brown sugar, and agave until very smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low.

Then add all the rest of those yummy ingredients that scream Fall is here and mix well. Pumpkin, yogurt, flour, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt.

Fill the muffin cups pretty full. They will puff up when baking but don't be worried when they settle and crack a little on top. That is what they are supposed to do. The original recipe says you will only get 12 but I always have 3 extra to bake.

They will be nice and golden when they are finished. Let them cool for at least 30 minutes and then chill. Then................

Add the goodness! A little light whipped cream and agave drizzled over. I know it appears that the crust has disappeared but it's awesome crunch is there. They are very delicious without the crust as well. I haven't had enough crust too do the extra three I seem to get so this is how I know. Just add a little extra cookies if you want to make sure and have enough crust.

Now go get yourself some pumpkin and get going! Pumpkin is very good for you! It is rich in beta carotene, loaded with potassium, and fiber. It contains lots of anti- oxidant vitamins A and C, zinc, and alpha hydroxy acids which help fight the signs of AGING!!! Yeah! Now I know you are going to make these! Just claim you are fighting the aging process as you devour each bite and then move on to the next one!


Jenny said...

Chilling is the worst part of making a dessert. I almost can't make something the night before - if I'm going to go to the trouble of cooking one night, I have to reap the rewards the same day. (Good grief, no wonder I have a weight problem.) I do better making them early, then chilling for a few hours. Smart thinking with the crust ideas!

Pam Rohde said...

I secretly ate one without chilling it and guess what? It was just as awesome. That is just another reason why mini is better!