Since we were preparing a “heavy meal” for my family the other night, I wanted to make something light for dessert to end things off with a little sweetness. What better than mini cheesecakes? They’re small enough for folks who have had a bit too much for dinner but perfect for those of us who have a spare “dessert tummy” that we reserve specifically for delicious treats. They’re quite small so you can just pop them into your mouth.
This particular recipe is wonderful for the holiday season with its gingerbread crust and spiced cheesecake filling. The ricotta also offers a light pairing to the cream cheese that is neither too sweet nor dense. For those who prefer even more warmth in flavor, add an additional ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the cheesecake mixture. You can also swap out the raspberry garnish for a drizzle of white chocolate ganache.
Mini Spiced Cheesecakes with Gingerbread Crusts
Makes approximately 18-20 mini cheesecakes
1 Cup Gingersnap Cookies
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter
½ Cup Ricotta Cheese
4 Ounces Cream Cheese
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
½ Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Raspberries for Garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.
In a food processor, pulse Gingersnap cookies into an even powder. Transfer to a bowl and add melted butter until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Generously spray 2 mini-muffin pans with cooking spray. Place a heaping teaspoon of the gingersnap mixture into the bottom of each cup, pressing firmly down to pack the bottom. Place the prepared pans in the oven and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In a food processor combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and the eggs. Blend until smooth. Fill the cups with about 1½ tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Situate the mini muffin pans in a water bath by placing them in a baking dish and pour boiling water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the mini muffin pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Transfer the mini muffin pans to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Use a small pairing knife to gently pop the cheesecakes out of the cups. Plate the mini cheesecakes and garnish with one raspberry atop each cake.