Mini cheesecakes are perfect for a buffet or individual dinner-party plating. These have all the flavors of the holidays, thanks to fresh ginger and a bit of brandy, plus an easy-to-make gingersnap crumb crust. A glaze of honey, orange juice, and more brandy makes them sparkle.
Special equipment: You’ll need a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms, such as the Norpro Nonstick 12 Mini Cheesecake Pan.
- Yields: 12 (2-inch) cheesecakes
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 55 mins, plus 2 1/2 hrs cooling time
- Active: 30 mins
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the filling:
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
For the glaze:
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon honey
For decorating (optional):
- 12 strips of candied ginger
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- To make the crust, in a mixing bowl, stir together the gingersnap crumbs, butter, and sugar until moist and combined. Divide the crumb mixture between the cups of your cheesecake pan and press it evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of each mini cheesecake cup. Bake until lightly toasted, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, mix together the sugar and flour in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, pour in the sugar mixture and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle as needed. Add the sour cream, brandy, and ginger and beat until combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating each egg into the mixture completely before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle as needed.
- Divide the filling among the prepared cups (it should come to just below the rim of the cups) and bake until the edges of the cakes are browned and the centers are barely set, about 20 minutes. Cool the cheesecakes in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, whisk together the orange juice, cornstarch, brandy, and honey. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and glossy. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of this glaze over the top of each cheesecake.
- Let the cheesecakes cool completely, then cover and chill at least 2 hours. Decorate each with a strip of candied ginger if you like.