No Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Friday, November 22, 2013

Raise your hand if you are ready for Thanksgiving!!!!!! (TOTALLY RAISING MY HAND) Yeahhh! It's that time again, folks.  Time to brine and roast that turkey, fluff that stuffing and gobble the shiz out of some green bean casserole...mashed potatoes, corn casserole, homemade bread, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie.... okay I think you get my point.  

Today I have a special little treat for you. No Bake MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes!  These little guys are to die for.  I'm not a huge fan of regular pumpkin pie, it's to do with the texture.  Just a glob of pumpkin over a layer of crust?  Not my thang.  But, light and airy pumpkin cheesecake mouse layered between buttery graham cracker crumbles?  Now we are taking!  
Start with the graham crackers.  Pulverize them in a food processor or large zip top bag and a rolling pin.  Get out your aggressions.
Once fully pulverized, pour them into a bowl with some sugar
And butter
Give them a quick stir and set aside for the time being
Then take some cream cheese (my bowl actually isn't dirty--I had to transfer the graham cracker crumbs from this one to the other bowl because it was bigger.  Just keepin' it real)
Add in some instant vanilla pudding
Pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
And milk.
Whip it up using a hand mixer.  I know, I also think taking things out of the cupboard just to mix is a pain but believe me, you want  a super smooth texture.  Use a hand or stand mixer. Just trust me.
Oh and add in a little pumpkin pie spice.  Give it a quick stir again, with that dang mixer.
Then, add in some "whipped topping."  You all know I mean Cool Whip.
But, put that mixer away, FAR away.  You need to fold this in, gently.  You want to keep it light and airy.  Pull your spatula to the bottom of the bowl and fold it over the top, again, and again, and again...
Until it is fully combined and looks something like this.
Then, get to layering.  Start with a little bit of the graham cracker crust
Then the filling
Then a little more of the crust, gently pat it down a bit
Then the filling...sorry about the blurry picture
Then top with the remaining Cool Whip.  There really isn't a need to pipe it on but it does make it look a little prettier.
I also sprinkled it with a little more graham cracker "crust."
And that's IT!  Totally adorable, portable No Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes!
These little guys are so heavenly and rich.
But, shhh....I made them with ALL LIGHT things...minus the butter.
I brought them to girls weekend and they were a huge hit.  I think they will be the talk of your Thanksgiving table :)

No Make Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
(makes 12, 4 oz jelly jars like these)

10 graham crackers
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
8 oz cream cheese (1/3 the fat is okay!)
1/3 cup vanilla pudding (I used the full sugar kind, I can't speak to how the sugar free would work as it won't have the same amount since there is less in the package)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 oz tub of Cool Whip (light is okay!)

Start by placing the graham crackers in a food processor or large zip top bag.  Crush into a very fine crumb.  Pour into a medium bowl with the sugar and butter.  Stir to combine.  Set aside for the time being.

In a larger bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla pudding, pumpkin puree, milk and pumpkin pie spice.  Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer is fine) mix until fully combined.

Once fully combined, fold, FOLD in 1 cup of the Cool Whip until it is fully combined.

To assemble, take a heaping teaspoon (like one you eat soup with) and place it on the bottom of the jar. Press down gently.  For the next layer, add two of the same teaspoons of the pumpkin mixture.  Gently smooth out or tap on the counter to flatten.  Repeat one more time with the graham cracker mixture and then the pumpkin mixture.  Top with the remaining Cool Whip either using a piping bag or simply adding a dollop on the top.  I also sprinkled a little of the graham mixture on top of the Cool Whip.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz adapted from my mother-in-law's recipe for Lazy Cheesecake Salad which I adapted into Lazy Lemon Cheesecakes in Jars.  That's all. :)

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