Food & Drink Magazine

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce

By Earlybirdbaker @earlybirdbaker
Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce
The holidays are filled with familiar and comforting tastes. We're talking pumpkin, apple, peppermint, and one of my personal favorites, gingerbread! Gingerbread is one of those things that brings me right back to childhood. We always had the old fashioned version around this time of year with a dollop of whipped cream..heaven! Needless to say I knew my next recipe would be something gingerbread.

Gaining inspiration from Gimme Some Oven and all ready having the supplies on hand, cheesecake would be on the menu today. Originally I intended on doing a plain cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. (Boring, right? I thought so too.) I bounced around ideas and looked in my cupboards. I happened to have some molasses left over from the last gingerbread I made..I've got it! I'll do gingerbread cheesecake!

I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants with this one, but I figured it was worth a shot and if successful it would be one delicious cheesecake. And thus I began my journey to making gingerbread cheesecakey goodness. 

Making these was a bit of trial and error, first beginning with making gingersnap crumbs for the crust. I know, how hard is it to make some crumbs of gingersnaps? Well, without a food processor and a plastic bag that was gaining more and more holes as I hammered away at the cookies, it was proving to be more of a challenge than I thought. Then I had a revelation! I'll use my Nutribullet. (For those that aren't familiar, a Nutribullet is a blender-ish thing for making juices with whole fruits, etc.) Anyway, mine came equipped with a flat blade specifically for grinding nuts and seeds so I used it to grind my gingersnaps. It made more of a dust out of them, but it worked! If ever in a pinch and own a Nutribullet, use that to grind your cookies for crust. 

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce

Starting to fill the cups

When you bake the cheesecakes you have to have a water bath for them to sit in since that helps keep them moist. I am not lucky enough to have a deep, wide pan that will hold my cupcake pan so I did the next best thing; I put a sheet pan in the oven on the rack underneath the rack I would be baking my cheesecakes on. This worked well for me and I didn't have to worry about splashing water into my cakes by accident.

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce

Baked and cooling

When you make the salted caramel sauce, don't get nervous when you see how it looks while you're cooking. It will come together, trust me..

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce


Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce


 Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes w/ Salted Caramel Sauce


Gingersnap Crust:

1 Cup Gingersnap crumbs
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp sugar
dash of salt


Gingerbread Cheesecake:

2 (8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger


Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp fine sea salt


Making the gingersnap crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In a bowl mix together your gingersnap crumbs, butter, sugar and dash of salt. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each cup and pat down with the back of your spoon. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and let cool off to the side. 


Making the gingerbread cheesecakes:

Drop your oven temp to 325 degrees F. Begin boiling your water for your water bath. Whatever amount that will fill a sheet pan about halfway full.

In a large bowl combine your cream cheese and sugar and blend together until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, mix in entirely and scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula to make sure all is incorporated. Add in your molasses, heavy cream and all the spices. Mix together until smooth, but don't over mix. Spoon batter into each crust and fill about 3/4 full.

Place your cheesecakes into the oven on the middle rack. On the rack below place your sheet pan and fill about halfway with your boiling water. Careful not to burn yourself!

Bake the cheesecakes for about 25 minutes or until edges are set and center slightly jiggles. When they are done turn off your oven and leave door ajar and let them sit in oven for five minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in cupcake pan for about 20 minutes. Then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. 


Making the salted caramel sauce:

Melt the butter on medium heat, add brown sugar and whisk until combined and thickened. About 2 minutes. Then add cream and vanilla, don't worry it will bubble up at you, just keep whisking and it will all combine. Cook about 3 minutes on med-low heat whisking constantly. Turn off heat and whisk in sea salt. Let cool slightly, as it cools it will thicken more.

Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes With Salted Caramel Sauce

Voila! There you have some gingerbread cheesecake love. I recommend refrigerating before serving and adding a little dollop of whipped cream on top. They are sweet, salty, rich and best of all gingerbready (yes, I made that up). Enjoy!

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