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Battle of the Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Crusts

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Posted by Katie Gambone

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we here at Button Jar have started planning our Thanksgiving menu.  Thanksgiving is a REALLY big deal for us at Button Jar because it is one of two times in the year that we are all together!  It is mayhem but it is also a blast!

The Thanksgiving menu also includes some of my most favorite foods.  My mouth is watering thinking about the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce…ah!  I love it!!! The vegetables are usually something we experiment with.  We also try to switch it up with the desserts while staying true to the apple and pumpkin flavors.

pumpkin-pie

While we haven’t planned our full menu yet, I thought I would use this week’s Recipe of the Week post to share with you one dessert dish I plan on making.  The timing for this just happened to be perfect because I am getting together with wonderful friends and former neighbors for dinner tomorrow night and I am bringing  the dessert. The perfect opportunity to experiment.

I’ve called today’s recipe Battle of The Pumpkin Cheesecake Crusts because I found two pumpkin cheesecake recipes that I have been wanting to try – one with a graham cracker crust and the other with a ginger snap crust.

battle-of-the-crusts

In true battle fashion, I decided to make mini pumpkin cheesecakes – half with the graham cracker crust and half with a ginger snap crust.  I used the same pumpkin cheesecake filling for both so that it is a true battle of just the crusts. I will poll my friends and willing taste testers tomorrow evening  to see which we all think is the most delicious.  Whichever crust wins will make it to the Thanksgiving dessert table. DIng, ding, ding!

While I can’t share with you the winner today, I thought I would give you both crust recipes so that you can pick and try whichever sounds better to you.  These proportions are for mini pumpkin cheesecakes and would need to be adjusted if you decide to make a full, 9 inch cheesecake.  Here we go!

Battle of the Pumpkin Cheesecake Crusts

Ingredients

This recipe yields 24 mini pumpkin cheesecakes.  I found these fallish looking mini cupcake holders at Target.

cup-holders

Graham Cracker Crust (from Glorious Treats)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Gingersnap Crust (from what To Eat)

1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling (From Glorious Treats)

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Redi whip (optional, for topping)

Let’s Get Baking!

Preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare either crust by combing all ingredients in a bowl and mixing with a fork. Add one spoonful of moist crust crumbs into each mini cheesecake holder.  Use a small flat surface (like the back of an espresso spoon or a shot glass) to press down the crumbs to form a crust.

filling-cups

Here you can see the crust comparison.  The gingersnap crust is much darker than the graham cracker crust.

crust-comparison

For the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth. So pretty.

whipped-cream-cheese

Add pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, sugar and spices.  Blend until combined.  Add flour and vanilla, and beat until well combined.

pumpkin-pie-filling

Spoon filling into prepared crusts so that it is even with the top of the muffin cup.

cups-filled

Bake the mini cheesecakes in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the  oven and cool for 15 minutes.

cooling-down

Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but ideally overnight.

Top the cooled cheesecakes with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Looks adorable!  Tastes so good!

finished-product

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