Bacon Cheesecake Bites
- 20 gingersnap cookies, finely crushed to yield 1 1/4 cups, or 1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-count mini-muffin pan with paper liners.
For the crust: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the crumbs and stir until the mixture forms clumps. For the filling: Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together until smooth. Mix in the cooked bacon.
Using the bottom of a shot glass or a small glass bottle, press 1 teaspoon of crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Using a small ice-cream scoop, scoop 2 tablespoons of filling batter on top of each crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis