Mini Cheesecake Recipe
When it comes to extracts and especially vanilla bean pastes, Nielsen-Massey is my number 1 choice always, because their high quality flavors and ingredients make a huge difference when it comes to baking!
When Nielsen-Massey reached out to tell me about their new Holiday Bundle, which includes their vanilla, almond, and peppermint extracts, I was so excited! I decided to use the vanilla extract to make a version of their mini cheesecake recipe, and it turned out so delicious. Check out the recipe below as well as some other flavor options using the other two extracts in the holiday bundle!
3 whole graham crackers (rectangles made of 2 squares)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used almond meal)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Organic Pure Almond Extract (I used vanilla)
1 cup cherry pie filling (I decided to go with raspberry preserves and topped it with a blackberry and some edible gold leaf!)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a standard cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners; set aside.
Place graham cracker pieces and almonds into the bowl of a food processor fit with metal blade. Pulse until they form a fine crumb. Add sugar and melted butter and pulse until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. (I just combined everything with a fork!)
Place a heaping tablespoon of the crumb mixture in the bottom of each baking cup. Press gently to form an even crust.
Bake crusts in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Place pan on wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add eggs in one at a time and mix until incorporated.
Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and add in extract. Beat until just blended. Use a large cookie scoop to evenly distribute the filling into baking cups.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until just set. Place pan on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Top with fruit, jam, whipped cream, whatever you’d like!
Other Flavor Options:
Mint Chocolate: Add 1 tsp of peppermint extract and swirl in some melted chocolate before baking your cheesecakes. Add some crushed mint oreos on top.
Almond Joy: Add 1 tsp of almond extract and top with crushed almond joy candies, or melt some chocolate and add coconut shavings and slivered almonds to pour on top of the cheesecakes.
You can replace the almond meal with graham crackers if you have a nut allergy or don’t have any almond meal on hand. If you’d like to use a different nut, you can do that too! Hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts - any will work.
Make sure to use room temperature cream cheese! This will be easier to mix, and you will get a smoother batter as well. Use room temperature eggs too!
These freeze super well! Freeze them without the toppings and make sure they’re in an airtight container or a ziplock bag.
Make sure to watch my video below to see how easy it is to make this! ALSO, don’t forget to check out Nielsen-Massey’s Holiday Bundle!