Mini Cheesecakes with Caramel Sauce
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs from 12 whole crackers*
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the Mini Cheesecakes:
- 16 oz cream cheese from two 8oz packages, softened
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
How to Make the Crust:
Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line a 24-count muffin tin. Combine 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 6 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Stir to evenly moisten crumbs.
Divide crumbs between 24 cupcake liners (about 1 Tbsp in each). Push crumbs into the base and slightly up the sides using a small spoon or your fingers.
How to Make Mini Cheesecakes:
In a large mixing bowl, beat together 16 oz cream cheese and 3 eggs with on high speed 5 minutes, until blended and smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Add condensed milk and mix on low speed** until blended (2 min).
Divide cheesecake mix evenly between cupcake liners - about 3/4 full (or a flat ice cream scoop in each one) and bake at 350˚F for 15 min. They should be set with a very slight jiggle in the center. Don't over-bake. If you notice them starting to crack in the oven, they are over-baking.
Cool to room temp in baking dish then spoon 1/2 to 1 Tbsp caramel sauce over each one. Refrigerate 2 hrs or until fully chilled then top with whipped cream using a piping bag with large star tip. Lightly dust with cinnamon if desired. Serve with or without liners.
How to Make Whipped Cream:
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup cold heavy cream, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat together with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes or until whipped and fluffy.
*For gluten free, use GF crackers/cookies or omit the crust and proceed with recipe as directed. The crust helps them rise more evenly but they still taste great without it.
**Cooks Tip: Mixing the condensed milk on LOW speed helps knock out excess air bubbles which can cause the cheesecakes to crack.