Cheesecake of the Month – December 2015!

Here’s a recipe for what could be a quick and easy holiday treat . . . it combines pumpkin, maple, and . . . bacon!  I made a batch !

Maple-Pumpkin-Bacon Mini-Cheesecakes

Ingredients
20 gingersnap cookies, finely crushed to yield 1 1/4 cups, or 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon fine salt

Directions

1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-count mini-muffin pan with paper liners.

2. For the crust: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the crumbs and stir until the mixture forms clumps. For the filling: Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together until smooth. Mix in the cooked bacon.

3. Using the bottom of a shot glass or a small glass bottle, press 1 teaspoon of crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Using a small ice-cream scoop, scoop 2 tablespoons of filling batter on top of each crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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