Pinteresting Challenge: Pumpkin Cheesecake Minis!

I've always wanted to do one of these "Pin It and Do It" posts but time and money are issues. I can also blame it on my horrible memory and procrastination tendencies. They really have grown quite ridiculous. Anyway, I did make something this month that is absolutely DIVINE. Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes! These things were incredible, really. 

Here's a bit of a backstory: About five or six years ago my best friend and I were at Barnes N' Nobles (now closed down), and ate a piece of their Pumpkin Cheesecake. I was in food heaven. This was the best cheesecake I've ever had and I've always remembered it for years past. I did some snooping to find they were supplied by the Cheesecake Factory. Yum, right? I've since done some copycat recipes that, while good, weren't as good as the bites I had at the bookstore.

Flash forward to the present, where I'm addicted to making and preserving miniature goodies for easy tea-times. I make breads, desserts, and random stuff to freeze and dethaw for that quick afternoon snack. I wanted to do a mini Cheesecake with Pumpkin for the Halloween months. Almost all recipes come with the typical Graham Cracker crusts. Well, when working at Keiser someone there made a cheesecake with an OREO cookie crust and it blew me away, much better than the typical Graham crust I thought. So I purposely sought out a mini recipe using a little cookie crust.

Looks Super Yummy already, right?

Here's the link to the Pin from my Tea Treats Album on Pinterest

Here's the link to the original recipe from Betty Crocker

Instead of using Gingersnap cookies I used some chocolate cookies. Didn't have Oreos so used Devils Food Cake Cookies ($1.25 a bag from Walmart), but next time think I'll invest in Oreos to see if I can taste the difference. Accidentally used a bit too much butter so the crust wasn't perfect but the taste was still divine.

Also, for the topping, instead of using whipped cream with caramel, I took some Coolwhip from the fridge, blended and thickened up a bit with my mixer, and added LOTS of cinnamon. I'd say around one cup of Cool Whip with 1 and a 1/2 tbs. of Cinnamon. Yes, that  much. 

When the cheesecakes were set I put a dab of the Cinnamon-Whipped Cream on the top in the center. It was delicious and looked adorable. These were a huge hit. It only made 12, and we ate them all before they could be frozen. Such a shame, will have to make more for this years Halloween gathering. Already wishing I had another now.

I don't have a mini cheesecake pan so used muffin tins with muffin wrappers. I didn't dare take the wrapping off until after taking out of the fridge from sitting a few hours. The small size kept these from seeming heavy or overwhelming.