One of my favorite parts of the week is Saturday mornings.  My husband can vouch for how much I truly love sleeping in on the weekends.  Then when I wake up, it feels so luxurious to make my latte at my own pace and then it’s time.  I love to sit on the couch, sip my coffee and watch the cooking shows that I record each week.  Without fail if there is a new Pioneer Woman and/or Giada De Laurentiis, I am giddy with excitement to hunker down and watch.  There is not always a recipe that I choose to replicate, but even so, I just enjoy watching people cook on TV.  I particularly love holiday episodes and last weekend, there were some great fall recipes shared on the Halloween episodes.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Giada made pumpkin bacon cheesecakes, which I adapted into these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts.   I opted to omit the bacon because I was not in the mood for a savory dessert.  I have told you before that I am not crazy about cheesecakes, but the exception is pumpkin.  The creamy whipped filling for these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes tastes like a rich pumpkin pie filling.  And the crust of any cheesecake is my favorite part whether it is composed of graham crackers, Oreo cookies or gingersnaps.  The warm, spicy crust of these mini cheesecakes topped with perfectly spiced, rich pumpkin filling is fall in a bite.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I love anything that is bite-sized and so I decided to serve these Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts for my book club that I hosted last week.  We read a book that I really loved called The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.  The book was about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife and it certainly led to some interesting conversation!  This dessert was the perfect two-bite sweet to pass around the table after dinner while we discussed.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 24 mini cheesecakes

Individually-sized cheesecakes with all of your favorite fall flavors combined into a perfect two-bite treat

Ingredients

    For the crust
  • 16 gingersnap cookies (enough to yield 1 cup crumbs)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • For the cheesecake filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
  • pinch of salt
  • whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. For the crust
  3. Place cookies into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. (If you do not have a food processor, place cookies into a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.)
  4. Place cookie crumbs into a small bowl, pour melted butter into the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Place ~1Tbsp of crumb mixture into each paper liner and press it down using a muddler, bottom of a shot glass (or something flat and small).
  6. For the filling
  7. In another medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling. Use an electric mixer to mix until smooth and well blended.
  8. Use a small ice cream scoop (or spoon) to place ~2 Tbsp of filling on top of each crust. Bake 12 minutes or until tops are cracked.
  9. Cool 10 minutes then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  10. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of each cheesecake before serving.
  11. Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
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combine cookie crumbs and butter for crust

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blend all ingredients for filling together

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place 1 Tbsp of crust into paper liners

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press the crust down firmly

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top crusts with 2 Tbsp filling

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bake

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place a dollop whipped cream onto each cheesecake before serving

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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My Thanksgiving plans are somewhat up in the air right now due to the poor health of my grandfather.  If grandpa stays with us a few more weeks, then it will be a celebration with the in-laws.  However, if he is relieved from his suffering in the next few days, my husband and I will be heading home to be with my family under less than ideal circumstances.  Since my holiday meal plans are uncertain, I would like to share some wonderful tips, ideas and recipes from some fabulous fellow bloggers and vendors.

Is it your first time making the turkey this year?  I’m sure you want yours to look as gorgeous as perfectly golden bird from Simple Bites.  The post that accompanies this mouthwatering photo will give you day-by-day, step-by-step instructions for roasting the perfect turkey and even how to make gravy.

(source)

I love turkey but like many of you, I also go crazy for all of the wonderful sides!  Do these Parmesan Mashed Potatoes that Lacey whipped up not make you drool?  I would love the saltiness from that cheese and they just look so fluffy and light!

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Don’t forget the brussels sprouts!  Are you a lover or do you need more convincing?  If you are on the fence, this brussels sprouts dish from A Cozy Kitchen might convert you!  Subtle sweetness from maple sugar and slight tang from balsamic vinegar.  Yes please.

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Naturally Marla over at Family Fresh Cooking has got us covered for a healthier way to enjoy our sweet potatoes.  In this recipe, she incorporates coconut milk, cinnamon and maple syrup and suggests creative toppings for your mashed sweet potatoes such as coconut flakes, dried figs and nuts.  You know I love to use recipes simply as guides and them make them my own, and Marla allows you to adapt this recipe using the ingredients that you prefer.

 

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No we have got to add a little salt to our sweet and one of my favorite salty sides is stuffing!  I don’t want sausage.  I don’t want oysters.  I want it straight up traditional just the way that Michelle that Brown Eyed Baker does it.  Her Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe has all you need:  bread, onions, sage and parsley.  What can I say?  I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to stuffing!

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And finally, you know what my top priority is:  dessert.  Cheesecake is a dessert that I would choose last in most cases.   There is one exception the I know of and that is this Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust found on Epicurious.   I had it for the first time when I was in Guatemala on a mission trip over Thanksgiving week and it was love at first bite.  The gingersnap crust is enough to make me swoon and the cheesecake itself is lighter than most traditional cheesecakes which is why I believe it is the exception to my lack of enthusiasm about cheesecakes.

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Then there is this Caramel Apple Pie that I made last year for Thanksgiving.  You incorporate some of the caramel into the the apple filling and then also drizzle the remaining caramel over each piece as you serve it.  It takes a little more effort than your average apple pie, but the results are so worth it.

 (source:  Williams-Sonoma)

There will inevitably be some Pumpkin Cookies lying around the house for post-food coma snacking.

And if you are looking for an easy fall cocktail to serve make some ginger simple syrup and combine it with some apple vodka and ginger ale for a festive and easy to sip on drink.

I wish you all safe travels and quality time with friends and family over this next week.  I am thankful for your readership and support.  

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