Do you love pumpkin desserts? Do you LOVE cheesecake? Do you love tiny food? Om Nom Nom into this instructable!
I have been trying to figure out things to make that would be awesome (and delicious!) to pack in lunches for dessert. We were getting bored of cookies and such, and I didn't want to go out and just get a pre-made snack from the store. When Instructables launched the Halloween Food contests and the Cupcake contests, an idea struck me all at once.
If there is one thing I make that my husband absolutely adores, it is my No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake. He loves it for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, on his birthday, you name it. However, having a full slice of cheesecake at lunch everyday is a bit much, so I decided to make these little snack-sized Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes!
We're using these to pack in lunches for work and school, but they are also great for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dessert, and holiday grab-ables!
What You Will Need:
2 Boxes of No-Bake Cheesecake Mix ( I used the Jell-O brand's home-style cheesecake mix.)
1 Can Pumpkin Puree (or 1-1/2 Cups)
1 8-oz package of Cream Cheese (softened, leave out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1-1/2 Sticks of Butter (Softened / Melted)
1 Package Almond Windmill Cookies (Also acceptable are molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, or gingersnaps)
2 Mixing Bowls
Measuring Cups / Spoons
Muffin / Cupcake Pan
Gallon-sized Zip-lock Bag
Hammer / Mallet / Smashy Thing
Open up that package of cookies. After enjoying one or two (or five...) with a glass of milk, dump the rest into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
Proceed to smash the living calories out of the cookies with your hammer / mallet / smashy thing. REALLY let your rage out. Stress from school, anger towards your boss, frustration with general people, just LET THOSE COOKIES HAVE IT. You want mostly a fine powder, but it is okay to have a few chunks in there too.
To make the crust, you will first want to take the crust-mix packs from your boxes of no-bake cheesecake mix. Open them up and dump them into a mixing bowl. Add in your smashed cookies.
Next, add 1-1/2 sticks of melted/softened butter to your cookie/crust blend, and toss well until all of the crumbs are well coated. Make sure that you can press the crust mixture against the side of the bowl. If it is too loose / dry, add more melted/softened butter, 1 Tbsp at a time.
Place a cupcake liner in each well of the cupcake tin. Scoop a heaping spoonful of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down firmly with the bottom of the spoon.
The best way to soften cream cheese is to leave it out on the counter for an hour or so. Or, you can quickly soften cream cheese by microwaving in 10 second intervals for 1-2 minutes. This will make it easier to blend it in with the rest of the ingredients without any unblendable lumps.
Mix together the entire can of pumpkin puree with the whole package of cream cheese. Cream together using your hand mixer until you have a smooth, slightly stiff mixture. Make sure there are no lumps left in your creamy-pumpkin-cheese-puree-mix.
Add in the packets of cheesecake mix and the required amount of milk to the pumpkin-cream-cheese-puree.
Mix together until everything is well blended, smooth, and a consistent color / texture.
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Blend the sugar and spices into the mixture until thick and speckled.
Scoop spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture into the cupcake liners with the pressed crust mixture. You can either spread the mixture flat, or dome the top of the cheesecake. I chose just to drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake mix in and let the shape decide itself.
Refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours before removing the pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes from the cupcake tin
Now you have the perfect-sized individually portioned pumpkin cheesecake! The most delectable of school lunch desserts.
You ALSO now have your own delicious bite-sized holiday dessert! Serve at Halloween for an elegant alternative to classic over-sweetened desserts, or swap-out the traditional Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie for this light and delicious dish.
No matter who you share with (or if you just keep it to yourself!) everyone who tries this cheesecake will be back begging for more.
Store under a loose cover in the fridge.
For more awesome recipes, as well as crafts and more, visit my blog! The Procrastibaker!!!