Mini Chai Cheesecakes


Since I'm not cooking for a huge crowd I cut this recipe in half so that it only made 12 mini cheesecakes. You can find the original recipe link below which will make 24 mini cheesecakes. I have a new kitten named Chai and so I thought making these chai cheesecakes would be cute (cat tax down below). These mini cheesecakes are perfect for Christmas because you can make everything but the whipped cream the day before. Not needing to make the dessert the day of was perfect and allowed me to focusing on getting the rest of the meal ready. The chai spice in these is subtle which was good and paired with the cinnamon whipped cream it helped add a little something extra to the cheesecake. Like the stuffing, I've been eating the leftovers throughout the week and they've held up for at least five days without issues. 

Serve with:
Baked Brie with Fig, Pistachio, and Walnut
Spiced Cranberry Paloma
Herby Mushroom Croissant Stuffing
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with a Trio of Sauces

Recipe from Sweet Fix Baker.

-3/4 cup ginger snap crumbs (around 12 cookies)
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chai Cheesecake
-3/8 cup granulated sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon cardamom
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
-Pinch of pepper
-8 oz neufchatel cheese at room temperature
-1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-3/8 cup Organic Lifeway Kefir 3.25% milkfat, at room temperature**
-1 1/2 eggs room temperature
-1/2 tablespoon flour

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
-1 cup heavy whipping cream chilled
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

**I couldn't find Kefir at my grocery store so I bought a vanilla Chobani Complete to use a substitution and didn't add more vanilla. No idea if it was a perfect swap but it worked. 

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a cupcake tin with paper liners for as many cheesecakes as you plan to make. 

In a food processor, mix all of your crust ingredients, until fine crumbs form. Add melted butter and mix until crumbs resemble wet sand. Measure the crumbs with a tablespoon measure, scoop the crust mixture into cupcake liners, then use the back of a spoon to compact it.

In a medium bowl combine the sugar and spices. Beat the neufchatel, sugar/spice, and vanilla (if using) with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the Kefir or yogurt and mix until just combined. Add eggs, one by one, beating after each addition, then add flour and mix. Top each crust evenly with batter.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the edges are set. Then turn off the oven and leave it propped open with the cheesecakes inside for 20 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Refrigerate overnight (or for at least six hours) before serving.

Top with cinnamon whipped cream -- using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients until the cream has formed stiff peaks. 

Cat Tax:


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