Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted-Caramel Crunch Topping
These little mini pumpkin cheesecakes are a crowd favorite because they look almost as good as they taste! For a little extra “sparkle,” top each cheesecake with this awesome pre-made salted-caramel crunch.
You can also top with your favorite caramel sauce or some chopped nuts before serving. For a more minimalist approach, simply sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon on top of the whipped cream.
Why is Pumpkin Good For You?
The internet go-to health resource, WebMD says pumpkin has several health benefits.
- Weight Loss
- Sharp Vision
- Better Immunity
- Younger Looking Skin
- Lower Cancer Risk
- It (May) Help Diabetes
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Crunch
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 2 T. real maple syrup
- 1 ½ c. crushed gingersnap cookies approximately 25-30 cookies
- 2 T. unsalted butter melted
- Pumpkin Cheesecake:
- 8 oz. package cream cheese room temperature
- 1 c. light brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 t. salt
- 3/4 c. canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 T. Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- 2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 t. ground nutmeg
- 1 t. ground ginger
- ½ t. ground cloves
- Salted Caramel Crunch pictured
- Caramel sauce
- Chopped nuts
- In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size and changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl and continue blending until the mixture is light and fluffy. Set aside or place in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24-cup mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Put cookies in a large heavy-duty freezer bag and cover with a towel. Pound bag with a meat mallet or rolling pin until cookies are uniformly crushed into very small pieces. (This can also be done in a food processor).
- Transferred crushed cookies to a glass bowl and add melted butter. Stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.
- Note: Add a little more melted butter to hold cookie crumb mixture together, if necessary. However, do not add too much or the butter will compete with the flavor of the gingersnap crust.
- Divide cookie crumb mixture into 24 equal parts and press into the bottom of each muffin cup firmly with your fingers to form a crust. Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt with a hand-held mixer. Add pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt to cream cheese mixture and continue beating until combined.
- Open egg in a separate bowl before adding to the cream cheese mixture. Then blend in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Continue blending until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the batter.
- Evenly divide pumpkin cream cheese mixture between the 24 muffin-tin cups, placing on top of the pre-baked cookie crust. Fill each cup slightly higher than the edge of the pan.
- Place muffin tin on center rack of oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the pumpkin mixture has set. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing mini-cheesecakes from tin. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving.
- To serve, top with whipped cream and salted-caramel crunch or your favorite caramel sauce. If using homemade whipped cream, spoon it into a plastic sandwich bag and cut a small corner off one bottom side. Pipe onto individual mini-cheesecakes for greater control.
Did Someone Say Pumpkin Is Good for Dogs?
According to the popular pet resource, 1-800-PetMeds, if you have a pet, you probably already know that minor tummy aches can be a common occurrence in pets.
It’s no fun for a fur baby to have an upset stomach, but what can you do when you notice that your dog or cat diarrhea or is straining to pass stool?
If the distress is minor, a healthy, natural treatment may already be in your own pantry.
Surprisingly, plain, unsweetened cooked pumpkin can help with both diarrhea and constipation. You can give your dog or cat plain canned, puréed pumpkin or fresh, cooked pumpkin. Start with 1/2 teaspoons and increase up to 2 Tablespoons, depending on the size of the dog and the tolerance and effectiveness.
As always, it is best to consult your own vet.
Be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar and spices.