I obviously knew that I wanted to tackle the dessert for Friendsgivemas 2014. I love daydreaming about dessert combinations and I had thoughts of cranberries, pumpkin, gingersnaps and frozen whipped cream dancing through my mind for weeks. The final result of these day dreams was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed after dinner!
Since I was trying out a fairly new recipe, I figured I should follow a basic recipe as closely as possible to avoid disaster. However, after quadrupling the recipe to make thirty mini-cheesecakes it called for an outrageous number of eggs. So I went rouge, and the result was still amazing. Call me Martha.
30 half-pint mason jars
- 13 ounces gingersnap cookies (I used Newman’s Own Spelt Ginger Snaps)
- 3/4 stick butter
- 24 ounces softened cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
- 3 cups sugar (I used half brown and baker’s sugar)
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups pumpkin
- ~2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or more as desired)
- Heavy whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush cookies until finely ground. I used my mini Cuisinart chopper. Melt butter and combine with ground cookies to make the crust mixture.
- Using a small handful, distribute crust mixture into each jar. Press into the bottom of individual jars to create the crust layer.
- Combine softened cream cheese, 2 cups sugar and vanilla extract using an electric mixer. Beat until smooth.
- Add the eggs individually, beating with each addition.
- Mix in final 1 cup sugar, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.
- Distribute filling to each jar (a soup ladle works well for this).
- Distribute half pint mason jars into large baking pan. Fill baking pan with water to approximately half-way up the mason jars.
- Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until tender.
- Whip heavy whipped cream until stiff. Add sugar and vanilla extract as desired (I usually do a spoonful of sugar and tsp of vanilla extract).
- Spread whipped cream in a baking pan approximately 1/4 inch thick. Freeze for at least three hours.
- Using mini cookie cutters (those without sharp edges work best) cut out shapes from the whipped cream.
- Top the mini cheesecakes with the frozen whipped cream shapes.