Because I’m obsessed with Thanksgiving!

by Manasi

Did I mention I love Thanksgiving? Well, not sure if I’ve let you know, but yes, I love Thanksgiving. Luckily, so do my friends, because each year we throw a Fakesgiving. I usually make a dessert and last year, I made these pumpkin pie bars since I was a little short on time due to a final on the Monday following Fakesgiving. I know–I couldn’t believe that school had the nerve to mess with my fake holidays either.

Luckily, this year we weren’t tortured as such.  I was flattered because I actually had requests for the first dessert I brought to a Fakesgiving–mini pumpkin cheesecakes. Unfortunately, that was a couple of years ago and I couldn’t remember where I found the recipe. Fortunately, I was able to find the recipe and realized that my baking skills have improved vastly over the last 2 years.

Well, since I’ve already started bragging about myself, let me say these were fantastic. I’m not sure if this happens to other bakers, but by the time I’m done churning something out of my kitchen, I really don’t feel like eating it anymore. I was kind of stuffed, but I finally got around to trying one and was very pleased with handy work.

I think the key here is the crust. It’s graham crackers and nuts–so I opted to use Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Graham Crackers. These were definitely worth buying as they lent the crust a great flavor that paired nicely with the pecans. I’m sure one day I’ll make my own graham crackers for a crust, but for now, these will do. Trader Joe’s also provided the salted caramel sauce for the topping–also amazing. I’m psyched that I have nearly an entire jar to eat by the spoonful.

Do your cheesecakes always crack? Mine seem to–though I’ve never made a full cheesecake. Luckily these are covered by luscious whipped cream, so you can’t tell. One day I’ll try and prevent it, but for now the whipped cream will cover it up. Try these out soon. Though Thanksgiving is over, I think they would be great for a holiday party.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Whipped Topping

from I heart Cuppycakes

For the crust
1-1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers
1-1/2 cups toasted pecans, finely ground
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

For the cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg

For whipped cream
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Caramel sauce, like Trader Joe’s Sea Salt Caramel

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine ground graham crackers, pecans, brown sugar in a bowl. Add melted butter and mix until combine.

Press about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. I used a cookie scoop and the amount was perfect.

Then make the cheesecake. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth. The first time I made these, I think my cream cheese was a bit cold still and I never did get it smooth enough. Keep beating the mixture until it’s smooth and combined.

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