Gingerbread Cheesecake

gingerbread cheesecake

I never want to eat again.

I don't want to eat food, make food, or look at it. If I see one more dirty dish, I might just cry. This is a lie and I'm sure I will take it all back tomorrow (though I am very serious about the dishes bit). After spending most of a week feasting and spending endless hours in the kitchen, I'm exhausted. The holiday season has taken its toll on me, as evidenced by my sore feet and expanding waistline. There is no other time in the year where I would consider a bowl of puppy chow and a few sugar cookies a legitimate breakfast. And the season isn't even over yet.

gingerbread cheesecake

I have more leftovers than I care to mention. Try as I might, I can't escape from the cookies, cakes, and sweets. They taunt me from the counter tops. They quietly hide in the refrigerator. They are even stacked up in the garage, becoming the first sight I see when I enter the house and the last before I leave. I have a massive sugar infestation.

... Help me!

Tomorrow I am going to eat a thoroughly healthy breakfast... and then I will break out the cookies and milk. Five more days before the new year (and before I have to feel guilty about it)!

gingerbread cheesecake

I originally made this cheesecake in a 10-inch springform pan but, due to unforeseen and tragic circumstances, this is not what the fates had in mind. May it never be said that I cannot salvage a cheesecake. As it turns out, these gingerbread cheesecakes are delicious in bite-sized proportions. The gingerbread flavor is loud and proud, though the sour cream topping keeps it in check. It's dense, it's delicious. Do yourself a favor and make this before the holiday season officially ends.

gingerbread cheesecake

Gingerbread Cheesecake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Yields approximately 16 miniature cheesecakes

2 cups gingersnap cookies, finely crushed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
32 ounces (2 pounds) cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
8 ounces (1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with approximately 16 paper baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs and melted butter until evenly coated. Spread the crumb mixture evenly between the baking cups and press down to firm up the crust.

Place in the oven and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on cooling rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the sugar and the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and orange zest. Pour the filling evenly between the baking cups.

Bake until cheesecake is set but still jiggles in the center when shaken, 20 to 30 minutes. Allow cheesecakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and powdered sugar. Spread on top of cooled cheesecakes.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled.