Petite Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes

It’s only 2 days before Halloween (and my Birthday..yay!) and I am finally cracking the whip on pumpkin making. I have been lacking on this seasonal treat and have been living vicariously through other people’s recipes. But no more do I have to salivate over this thick-skinned root vegetable any longer…because..I…finally opened my FIRST can of pumpkin for the season!
Pumpkin cheesecakes have been on my mind lately. Actually, sweets have been on my mind lately. Haven’t you noticed? All I’ve been making are cupcakes and cookies recently. There have been several recent unfortunate events happening within my circle, and in my way to vent, I lock myself in the kitchen, bake, cook and spike up my blood sugar. How do you “vent”?
These petite cheesecakes hit the spot! Situated on a firm and buttery ginger crust, the spices are vibrant and perk up all the senses. Warm feelings of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are the main highlights in that perfect bite. Cream cheese beaten until smooth as can be (all with love, of course) nestle on top of the sturdy crust. Drops of seasoned pumpkin are added to the cheese mixture, where the orange and white colors swirl and combine, illustrating a deliciously edible tie-dye.

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside
In a food processor, grind up the gingersnap cookies into fine crumbs.
Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl. Add in the ground cinnamon and sugar.
2) Melt the butter and add it to the graham cracker crumbs and mix well. It should look like wet sand.

3) Put 1 Tb of the graham cracker crumb mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner.

4)  Press down on the the crumbs with your fingertips. So it looks like this.

5) In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the softened cream cheese on medium high speed for about 3 minutes. The cream cheese should be smooth without lumps.

6) Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.

7) In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and lightly beat them. Slowly add in the eggs and mix until just combined. I use a spatula to scrap down the sides to make sure everythings mixed in well.

8) Add in the sour cream and mix until the cheesecake mixture is smooth.

9) To make the pumpkin mixture, combine the pumpkin puree, orange zest, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice and flour in a bowl, mix well.
* I use “heaping” spoonfuls when measuring spices because I like the added flavor, but that’s up to you.

10) Add 2/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir with a spatula until the two batters are completely combined and there are no lumps.

11) Fill each cupcake liner with the cheesecake mixture. I used a melon baller/dough scooper. Fill cupcakes almost to top.

12) Now place 3 dots of pumpkin batter onto of the cheesecake batter using a small scooper.

13) Using a toothpick (or anything else), swirl the two batters together!

14) Bake the Mini Cheesecakes for about 26-28 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until JUST set. Rotate the pan half way through.

15) Once the cheesecake are done baking, cool them completely in the refrigerator overnight. (keep them in the cupcake baking pan).

* One thing that I did notice when making these, was that when the cheesecakes were done, they were very “puffy”. I turned the oven off, took them out and they deflated in the middle within minutes. The flavors were still impeccable, but this could have been for two reasons:
1) I over beat the mixture, creating too much air in the batter.
2) I took them out “too soon”, causing a drastic change in temperature.
I will do a test batch next time and beat the mixture less. When any of you make these..please let me know how they turn out, esthetically!

Petite Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes

Adapted from Gingerbread Bagels

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 18-20 gingersnap cookies, crushed fine
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 4 Tb unsalted butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Mixture
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened (that’s two 8 ounce blocks)
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • Pumpkin Mixture
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tspallspice
  • 1 Tbl Orange zest
  • 2 Tb + 1/4 tsp all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside
  2. In a food processor, grind up the gingersnap cookies into fine crumbs.
  3. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl. Add in the ground cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Melt the butter and add it to the graham cracker crumbs and mix well. It should look like wet sand.
  5. Put 1 Tb of the graham cracker crumb mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  6. Press down on the the crumbs with your fingertips. So it looks like this.
  7. ?In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the softened cream cheese on medium high speed for about 3 minutes. The cream cheese should be smooth without lumps.
  8. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
  9. In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and lightly beat them. Slowly add in the eggs and mix until just combined. I use a spatula to scrap down the sides to make sure everythings mixed in well.
  10. Add in the sour cream and mix until the cheesecake mixture is smooth.
  11. To make the pumpkin mixture, combine the pumpkin puree, orange zest, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice and flour in a bowl, mix well.
  12. * I use "heaping" spoonfuls when measuring spices because I like the added flavor, but that's up to you.
  13. Add 2/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Stir with a spatula until the two batters are completely combined and there are no lumps.
  14. Fill each cupcake liner with the cheesecake mixture. I used a melon baller/dough scooper. Fill cupcakes almost to top.
  15. Now place 3 dots of pumpkin batter onto of the cheesecake batter using a small scooper.
  16. Using a toothpick (or anything else), swirl the two batters together!
  17. Bake the Mini Cheesecakes for about 26-28 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until JUST set. Rotate the pan half way through.
  18. Once the cheesecake are done baking, cool them completely in the refrigerator overnight. (keep them in the cupcake baking pan).
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Enjoy! And Happy Halloween!

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