Scott Mowbray Scott Mowbray
November 20, 2013

I wanted a new Thanksgiving treat—small, spicy-pumpkin-ish, but in cheesecake form. This variation of our mini cheesecakes swaps in pumpkin, fall spices and, a brilliant suggestion by Ann Taylor Pittman (who developed the original recipe), uses crushed gingersnaps for the crust. If you eat just one, it’s probably not unreasonable, given the relaxed standards mandated by the traditions of Turkey Day, to have a sliver of pumpkin pie alongside.

Individual Pumpkin-Spice Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel
This recipe makes 12 perfectly portioned cheesecakes. You can also make 24 itty bitty cheesecakes in mini muffin tins; they’ll only need to bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

30 gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons canola oil
Cooking spray
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/8 teaspoon flake salt

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Place cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add oil; pulse to combine. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin well with cooking spray. Divide cookie crumb mixture evenly among muffin cups; press crumbs firmly into bottom and up sides using a small drinking glass. Bake at 300° for 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack.

3. Wipe food processor clean. Place brown sugar, yogurt, pumpkin, and cream cheese in processor; process until smooth. Add pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, table salt, and eggs; process until smooth. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake at 300° for 17 minutes or until centers of cheesecakes barely move when pan is touched. Remove pan from oven; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover pan; refrigerate cheesecakes 3 hours or until well chilled.

4. Run a thin knife around outside edge of each cheesecake. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan; place on a platter. Chill cheesecakes until ready to serve.

5. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 3 minutes). Continue cooking 12 minutes or until the color of light brown sugar (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in butter and milk (caramelized sugar will harden and stick to spoon). Place pan over medium-high heat until caramelized sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; cool caramel to room temperature. Cover and chill 1 hour or until slightly thickened. Spoon about 1 tablespoon caramel over each cheesecake. Sprinkle cheesecakes evenly with flake salt.

CALORIES 266; FAT 10.8g (sat 4.4g, mono 4.1g, poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 5.7g; CARB 37.2g; FIBER 0.7g; CHOL 51mg; IRON 1.6mg; SODIUM 296mg; CALC 90mg

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