Walnut-Crusted Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Walnut-Crusted Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

This is a prize-winning recipe in the Smart Holidays Menu Makeover recipe contest submitted by Kara Snow.

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups toasted California walnuts
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

For the Topping:

  • Whipped cream
  • Dust of cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line 12-hole standard muffin pan with baking liners.
  2. Food process toasted walnuts until fine. Add butter and sugar, process until combined. Divide mixture among baking cups; press firmly.
  3. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sour cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, and vanilla in bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs, just until combined. Do no over beat. Pour mixture into baking cups. (use low-fat sour cream and cream cheese not fat free ingredients because the taste and structure are compromised)
  4. Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes or until the outside edges are firm and center is a little jiggley. Cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove from baking cup wrapper. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. Serve.