Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor!

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor! @FlavortheMoment

Mini cheesecakes are something I’ve been known for ever since I picked up a couple of mini cheesecake pans a few years ago.  When I make dessert, people have come to expect mini cheesecakes to be part or all of dessert.  I’ve created salted caramel pumpkin, pumpkin cookies ‘n cream, lemon, and coconut cream so far, and I came up with these Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust to go along with my Dry Brined Orange Rosemary Roasted Turkey feast a month ago.  These little cheesecakes may look unassuming, but talk about a flavor explosion!

I made my Orange Sugared Cranberries specifically for this recipe, and I’m using them in another recipe this week.  I didn’t plan on posting them so close together, but sometimes these things just happen.  If you love the cranberry orange combination as much as I do, I know you don’t mind.

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor! @FlavortheMoment

I know I’ve only got one orange sugared cranberry atop each cheesecake, but be sure and serve a lot more on the side.  I wanted one cranberry for every bite I took…if you’re dainty that might be 4, and if you’re like me it’s 2-3.  No shame!

These Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust are packed with orange flavor because they contain orange juice and zest, and they’re the perfect match for the spicy gingersnap crust.  Like I said…flavor explosion.  You’ve got all of the best flavors of the season in a few bites right here, and you definitely can’t eat just one!  I speak from experience.

I used my mini cheesecake pans which you can find here, but you could also use a standard muffin pan with liners if you don’t want to purchase special pans.  Cooking time will be a bit longer and you’ll get less than 12 cheesecakes, but it can definitely be done.  I almost always double my batch of mini cheesecakes because they go so fast.  And secretly I’m hoping for leftovers.

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor! @FlavortheMoment

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust will be the stars of your holiday dessert table.  For starters, everyone loves mini desserts because they’re so adorable, and nobody can resist cheesecake bites….nobody.  Especially when they’re topped with orange sugared cranberries, because they’re the most festive holiday food on the planet.

Hands down. 🙂

And now it’s Eat Seasonal time, where a group of bloggers join up to share recipes featuring seasonal produce!  This month I used orange from the list we were given.  Thank you to our wonderful host Becky from The Vintage Mixer, and be sure to visit her December Seasonal Produce Guide for even more recipe inspiration this month.

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You can get in on the fun too, using the hashtag #eatseasonal to share your seasonal recipes as well.  Be sure to visit the links below for the other Eat Seasonal blogger’s recipes!

december-seasonal-recipes

Roasted Persimmon Ice Cream by Cafe Johnsonia
Pomegranate Vinaigrette by Joy Food Sunshine
Potato Leek Soup with Italian Sausage by Completely Delicious
Winter Greens with Pomegranate Seeds and Olives by Letty’s Kitchen
Asian Kale Power Salad by She Likes Food
Crunchy Apple-Pear Salad with Pomegranate, Pine Nuts & Yogurt by Simple Bites
Pesto Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon by Vintage Mixer
Winter Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Bowls with Gingerbread Granola by Floating Kitchen
Beet and Root Vegetable Tian with Apple Cider Reduction by Food for my Family

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor! @FlavortheMoment

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor!

Ingredients:

(1) batch Orange Sugared Cranberries (make ahead)

For the crust:

¾ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs, pulsed in a food processor (I used Pamela’s gluten free brand), plus more for garnish*
¼ cup finely chopped toasted pecans*
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt

For the filling:

8 ounces softened cream cheese (I used ⅓ less fat neufchâtel)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons full fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Prepare the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the inserts into the bottom of each of the (12) cavities of a mini cheesecake pan, and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the gingersnap crumbs, pecans, and pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is well coated with butter. Drop 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the mixture into the each of the (12) cavities, and press down firmly with the back of a teaspoon. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.

Prepare the filling:

Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, egg, sour cream or yogurt, orange juice, zest, and vanilla, and beat until smooth and well combined. Fill each cavity with the filling as evenly as possible, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until set but slightly wobbly in the center. Begin checking for doneness after 10 minutes, as oven temperatures vary considerably.
Cool 20 minutes on a wire rack, then using your finger, push up through the hole in the bottom of each cheesecake and remove each one. Use a knife to loosen the sides if necessary — I didn’t have to. Remove the metal insert and cool completely in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare the whipped cream:

Place the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Remove the whisk attachment and whisk just a bit more by hand until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

Assemble the cheesecakes:

Place the cheesecakes on a serving tray. Pipe the whipped cream decoratively over the cheesecakes and top with the desired amount of orange sugared cranberries. Garnish with more orange zest and serve with more orange sugared cranberries. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

*If you want to make your crust nut free, simply replace the pecans with an equal amount of cookie crumbs.
Be sure to wait until just before serving to top the cheesecakes with the cranberries. If refrigerated, the sugar on the cranberries will dissolve/weep.
I used a mini cheesecake pan for this recipe, but you may also use a standard muffin pan with paper liners. The cooking time will be a bit longer, and you will get less than 12 cheesecakes.

Recipe source: Flavor the Moments.

// All images and text ©.

Mini Cranberry Orange Cheesecakes are creamy bite-sized cheesecakes bursting with holiday flavor! @FlavortheMoment

 

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