And now for round number two! Remember my last post with the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting??? I said I had made a smorgasbord of desserts with pumpkin…well here’s numero dos!
I can’t procrastinate too long with posting these recipes, otherwise we will find ourselves in mid April getting ready for the Easter bunny and dying eggs. And unless you have a great pumpkin deviled egg recipe, I’m pretty sure our favorite gourds will be long gone from the majority of holiday ingredient lists. So let’s savor them now!
Back before Braelyn was diagnosed with celiac, one of my favorite holiday desserts was a pumpkin bundt cake that included a pack of pumpkin spice instant pudding mix. The cake also called for a cup of butter, a cup of sour cream, four eggs, and a bag of white chocolate chips. No wonder it was divine.
Since I would make this dessert every year, I made sure to buy the pumpkin spice pudding mixes in bulk when they were on sale for the next year. Now that I look back, I’m not sure saving 75 cents on each pudding pack was worth the occupied storage space in my pantry for an entire year. Funny what the word “sale” makes you do.
Anyway, needless to say, I had some pudding packs to put to use without being able to make my favorite cake. I’m not a fan of pudding, so just mixing them up and shoving them in the refrigerator was out of the question.
So then I thought, and thought, and well thought some more. And then I stopped thinking and ignored the pudding packs in my pantry for another month until it hit me; cheesecake! I do love cheesecake!
I figured people make those no bake cheesecakes all the time, and I imagine all it would be is a mixture of cream cheese and pudding. The gelatin from the pudding would help bind the mixture together. It was worth a try.
Oh, and I have been on this molasses kick since I bought a bottle a few weeks ago. I couldn’t get over how delicious these Super Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies and Ginger Molasses Pancakes with Brown Sugar Glaze turned out. So why not a soft molasses gingersnap crust instead of graham crackers for the mini pumpkin cheesecakes??? Bingo!
These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Gingersnap Pies are just as yummy as they are cute! They are the perfect size for a party where you can serve an assortment of desserts. They aren’t extra filling and rich like most cheesecakes are, so you don’t feel so guilty after eating one. These babies also freeze well, so you can make them in advance for your holiday gatherings.
Doesn’t mini just make everything better?! I mean what dessert doesn’t want to be tiny and adorable??? Okay, maybe I just have a skewed perception because, let’s face it, I’m a bit pint sized myself.
What are your favorite mini desserts?
- For Crust:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup), room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour*
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- For Filling:
- 1 pack pumpkin pie spice instant pudding mix
- 1 pack cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup milk
- For Toppings:
- whipped cream
- toffee bits
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin making crust. Cream together brown sugar, molasses, and butter until pale and smooth. Add pumpkin pie spice, salt, flour, and xanthan gum. Mix until combined. Knead dough until ingredients are well incorporated.
- Taking slightly less than 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, press down into and up the sides of the wells in a mini muffin tin. Come just slightly over the edge of each muffin hole. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, removing after 7 minutes and quickly pressing down dough with the back of a measuring teaspoon.** Return to the oven to cook the additional 3-5 minutes until slightly browning on edges. Once you remove from the oven, press centers of cups down again with the back of a teaspoon. Allow to cool completely before removing from tins.
- As cups are cooling, begin making filling. In a medium sized bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until incorporated. With mixer on low, slowly add milk and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Once cups are completely cooled, gently remove from tins by using the edge of a knife to loosen sides before pulling out. Fill each cup to the top with pumpkin pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30-40 minutes until centers are set. Top with whipped cream and toffee bits. Serve cold or at room temperature.
**During baking, the centers of the crusts will puff up. You will need to press them down so that they bake into a crust rather than a cookie. Just use the rounded back of a measuring teaspoon to push them back down. Repeat as soon as they come out of the oven as well.