Celebrate the holidays with a special homemade dessert, Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes!
Eggnog - love it?
I have a confession. I am one of those people who like eggnog. Every year I will buy a small bottle of eggnog to be enjoyed with cookies. This is most definitely a childhood memory. But it is only once a year that eggnog and these particular cookies are available. So I indulge in a little nostalgia and have my childhood treat.
Now I know there are quite a few people who can not understand the appeal of eggnog. It's too eggy, or thick, or just doesn't taste good to them. Drinking it can elicit the most dramatic faces and reactions.
But I have the answer for those eggnog haters - mini eggnog cheesecakes. Cheesecakes are a natural pairing with eggnog. They have many of the same ingredients, but the eggnog no longer has an eggy taste. A buttery chocolate crust enhances the flavor and richness.
And because it is mini, it just naturally tastes better
Minis tend to evoke an awww reaction. Looked upon to be cute and petite, small desserts are cherished little bites. Maybe we feel we can indulge, just a little. As a result, you can enjoy your dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth rather than feel you have blown your diet.
Mini cheesecake how-to
One appeal to making mini desserts is they take less time to prepare. Almost immediate gratification. There are a few steps that will assure success with the recipe. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge an hour before you are going to make the recipe. In the meantime, get the crust ready. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cocoa powder with melted butter. Each liner should get about 1 ½ tablespoons of crust. Use a ¼ cup measure to compact it into the bottom of the cup.
When it is room temperature, cream cheese will become much smoother when mixed with the other ingredients. Use foil cupcake liners for the minis. They release from the cheesecake much better than paper liners. Don't over mix the batter. When air is whipped into the batter, cheesecakes tend to split.
The recipe is written for the addition of bourbon or dark rum. If you prefer to eliminate the alcohol, the recipe will work just as well. The addition of nutmeg, especially freshly grated if you can, will give your cheesecakes that true eggnog taste. Once the filling is ready, I use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups. (A little less messy than trying to pour out of the bowl.)
A gift for a friend
I so enjoy hearing the success stories people share with me when they make one of my recipes. I love, love, love to hear the children I teach tell me about cooking one of our recipes for their families!
I have featured this recipe for a good friend of my older son. She made the pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving and her family made her promise to make it again. She shared a picture - she rocked it. It made my day!
If you need a holiday treat for someone special, try this mini eggnog cheesecake recipe. I used candied bourbon cherries to dress up the top. What could be better than the combination of cheesecake, chocolate, and cherries?
Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
- 12-cup muffin tin
- Foil cupcake liners
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ tablespoon cocoa
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup eggnog
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum
Preheat oven to 325°
- Add foil liners to the muffin pan.
- Melt the butter. Combine the graham crackers crumbs, cocoa powder, and sugar. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, stirring until everything is mixed. Divide between the 12 foil liners. Using a ¼ cup measure, pack the crust flat into the bottom. Put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Let these cool while you continue to mix the cream cheese filling.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. It will be much easier to combine all the ingredients into a smooth mixture. Add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl. Mixing at low speed, add the sugar and the cornstarch. Once these ingredients are incorporated, stop mixing and using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Continue to mix at low speed and add one egg. Stop mixing as soon as the egg is mostly incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the other egg, mixing just until it is incorporated.
- At this point add the egg nog and mix just until it is incorporated. Now the remainder of the ingredients, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, and rum or bourbon are added to the bowl. If you prefer no alcohol, the cheesecakes will be fine without it. With a spatula, give the filling a last good stir, getting all the filling on the sides and bottom of the bowl incorporated.
- Cheesecakes crack while baking if there is too much air incorporated while mixing. The main objective is to have a homogeneous and smooth, creamy batter.
- Fill the cups with the filling up to the top of the liner. I like to use an ice cream scooper for this step. The cheesecakes will slightly expand. Have very hot water ready and waiting for you. Place the muffin tin on a sheet tray and put it on the middle rack of the oven. Pour some hot water onto the sheet tray. There should be enough water that it is coming up the sides of the muffin tin. The hot water, better known as a bain-marie, will help to regulate the cooking temperature of the cheesecakes. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top is set and you can touch it without disturbing the batter. The cooking time will depend on your oven. The centers of the cheesecake may appear to jiggle. This is okay. The cheesecakes will continue to cook for a few minutes after they are taken out of the oven. Once the cheesecakes have cooled to room temperature, they should be refrigerated for at least three hours.