Pecan Pie Cheesecakes

Pecan pie and cheesecakes are two of my very favorite desserts, so when I saw this recipe on pinterest I knew I had to try it out right away. It’s one dessert with both pecan pie filling and a fantastic brown sugar cheesecake. The first time I made this, I made it as a normal 9″ cheesecake, and everyone raved about it. It was pretty rich though, so I thought bite-sized pieces would be fun. I made them the second time in mini muffin tins, and they were perfect snack-sized bites of deliciousness, and much easier to serve to a group of people. Either size would be great for a thanksgiving or any fall meal!

I have a personal soft spot for cheesecakes in general. I grew up not cooking or baking much, but when I got to college and decided to learn how to cook/bake, I started with cheesecakes. For a couple months, I made 1-2 different cheesecakes per week. Almost no repeats, and none with chocolate (my former cheesecake-tester/now-husband is allergic). That was a lot of cheesecakes!

Bite sized cheesecakes with pecan pie filling

Pecan Pie Cheesecake (slightly adapted from bakeorbreak.com)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 cups vanilla wafers
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Pecan Pie Filling

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pulse vanilla wafers in food processor (Mine has cup measurements on the side, so I just added vanilla wafers until there were 2 cups. Then add butter and brown sugar and pulse until blended.
  3. Press crust into bottom (and sides, if desired) of a 9″ springform pan or greased muffin tins (I did 24 mini-muffins and 12 normal muffins). Bake for 6 minutes then set aside to cool.
  4. Add all pecan pie filling ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce and simmer around 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Pour into crust (if doing mini-cheesecakes, fill up about half-way with pecan pie filling).
  5. Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
  6. Beat softened cream cheese until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and mix until fluffy.
  7. Add eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  8. Stir in heavy whipping cream and vanilla, then pour over pecan filling (for mini-cheesecakes, fill until almost full – you may have some filling left over)
  9. Bake! For 9″ cheesecake, bake for 1 hour then turn off oven and leave cheesecake in cooling down oven for 1 hour. For mini-muffin cheesecakes, bake for 15 minutes. For regular muffin sized cheesecakes, bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Let cool and then cover and refrigerate (at least 4 hours, ideally overnight) before serving

A few notes about cheesecakes:

  • These were the cook times that worked for me. In general, you should pull out cheesecakes when they are only slightly still jiggly – they will keep cooking and firm up after you pull them out of the oven and then put them in the fridge.
  • There are two things I’ve found to work best at avoiding cracks in cheesecakes. First, let your eggs warm up to room temperature before adding them and beat well after adding each one. (Science note: egg proteins are often what cause cracks in cheesecakes). Second, add a little bit of flour to the cheesecake filling, even if your recipe doesn’t call for it.
  • Let it cool almost completely before covering and adding to the fridge, or condensation will drip on your cheesecake and discolor the top of your cheesecake.

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