Pumpkin Pizzazz, Episode 4: No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Catherine Yong/HIGHLANDER
Catherine Yong/HIGHLANDER

Thought we were gone? Well, you thought wrong. “Pumpkin Pizzazz” never leaves (except after this week).

Last week, we concluded the much-savored “three-course” food series titled, “Pumpkin Pizzazz,” which was intended to feature a savory dish, a beverage and a dessert — all of which revolved around the ultimate fall fruit-slash-vegetable, pumpkin. However, we got so attached to the idea of pumpkin that we couldn’t shake the versatile squash out of our heads, especially when we thought up these no-bake mini pumpkin cheesecakes.

No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Three scrumptious layers and eight easy ingredients (two of which are optional — the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice) make up one amazing Thanksgiving recipe that you and your family will never forget. The light, sweet cream cheese center pairs perfectly with the festive pumpkin, and the easy-to-make, buttery graham cracker bottom provides the crunchy-sweet crust that all pies need to be memorable. It’s much easier to make than a conventional pumpkin pie but tastes just as delicious — if not even more.

Three scrumptious layers and eight easy ingredients … make up one amazing Thanksgiving recipe that you and your family will never forget

 

PREP TIME

TOTAL TIME

SERVINGS

15 MIN

1 HR

9

 

Ingredients

9 graham cracker sheets (1 sheet = 2 squares)

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

½ cup canned pumpkin

¼ cup sweetened condensed milk

½ cup cream cheese

Ziploc bag

OPTIONAL

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Pecans

Cupcake liners

  1. Place graham crackers in Ziploc bag and crush them into crumbs using a meat tenderizing mallet.
  2. Pour in a half-cup of the sugar and shake the bag until the sugar is well-incorporated with the graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a medium-size bowl and stir in a half-cup of the butter until the mixture is stiff like a dough and the crumbs no longer fall out.
  4. In another bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk and a one-fourth cup of sugar.
  5. If you want to add more flavor, you can add the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into the pumpkin mixture now.
  6. For the cream cheese filling, stir the cream cheese with the other half-cup of butter along with the remaining one-fourth cup of sugar.
  7. With a muffin pan, fill each well with the graham cracker crumb mixture on the bottom, cream cheese in the center and pumpkin filling at the top with a single pecan or crushed pecans as a garnish.
  8. If you would like to obtain a more cohesive shape for the mini-cheesecakes, layer each ingredient in cupcake liners in the muffin pan instead of straight in the pan.
  9. Pop the cheesecakes into the freezer and chill for one hour. Enjoy!

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