It’s the best time of year in the kitchen, don’t you think? It’s that time, just before what miiiight be holiday madness, where we have the time and brianspace to hustle out the cooling racks and baking sheets and cake decorating tips enough to make a big mess on the counter in working towards this grand goal of cookies + cheesecake + pumpkin spice. We’ve got this.
In today’s offering I bring you treats on treats on treats! Chocolate chip cookie topped with pumpkin spice cheesecake – topped with whipped cream and crisp cookie crumbs. It sure is right. Plus we’re baking these in mini springform pans from Wilton making these desserts both reasonable in size and precious in perception.
Add this to your Autumn baking adventure, won’tcha?
Here’s what you’ll need:
• Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – making our own from scratch is easy, I promise. I used a riff on this recipe.
• cream cheese, very well softened to prevent lumps.
• pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices.
• brown sugar, eggs, browned butter, a dash of bourbon, and heavy cream – all the good stuff.
Start by making cookies and cookie dough. Bonus for what may seem like a bit of extra work is that you get to snack of cookies while you make the cheesecake filling.
The cookie dough is pressed into the bottom and up the sides of these Wilton Mini Springform Pans. The cookie dough will bake along with the cheesecake and create this melty chocolate, soft cookie crust.
One of the secrets to baking with canned pumpkin puree is to place it in a saucepan and heat it.
To the pumpkin puree we’ll add the pumpkin cheesecake spices. Some of the water will evaporate from the pumpkin puree, intensifying the flavor, and the heat will help bloom the spices.
While the spiced puree cools, we’ll bring together all the creams and sugars.
Softened cream cheese with brown sugar are creamed until fully combined and fluffy.
Now it’s time for eggs. Eggs will add structure and help the cakes set.
Add three and whip up to combine!
It’ll feel like velvet.
A bit of flour to thicken the mixture.
Heavy cream for extra lusciousness.
You know what’s a good idea? Browned butter.
I added bourbon and pure vanilla extract, too! This is just too good… and we haven’t even added the pumpkin yet!
And spiced pumpkin puree. The mixture will be pourable thick, smooth, fragrant and really so lovely!
I like to use a big liquid measuring cup to pour the cheesecake batter over the cookie dough.
Pour each springform pan three-quarters full.
Place on a parchment lined and sidle up to the oven. The little cheesecakes will bake until puffed and deep golden orange.
While the cheesecakes cool completely, whipped up some heavy cream to soft peaks and crumble a few cookies.
Fold over the featherweight bag and fill halfway with whipped cream.
And swirl whipped cream around the edges of each cheesecake.
Sprinkle generously with crumbled cookies.
And look at this sweetness! Cookie-crusted, pumpkin-spiced, sweet and creamy cheesecakes with whipped cream and crumbled cookies.
Photography with Jon Melendez!
- For the Cookie Crust and Crumble
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- For the Cheesecake
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted to browned
- For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- splash of pure vanilla extract
- To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and molasses. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and yolk and beat on medium speed for 1 minutes.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. Add all at once to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until well combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the dough into a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- To make the cheesecake, in a small saucepan combine pumpkin puree and all of the spices. Warm over low heat until it begins to sizzle and bubble. This will help some of the water in the pumpkin evaporate and will help the spices bloom. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand beater, combine the cream cheese and brown sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until well combined.
- Add the flour, salt, cream, bourbon, vanilla, and browned butter and mix well to thoroughly combine. Lastly, add the cooled pumpkin spice mixture and beat well to incorporate.
- To assemble the cheesecakes, assemble the Wilton Mini Springform pans. Press 3 to 4 tablespoons of chilled cookie dough into the bottom of each pan, going up the sides just slightly. Repeat for each of the 9 pans. Refrigerate while the oven preheats.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and bake off 9 small chocolate chip cookies, baking for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Remove the cookie crusts from the refrigerator and arrange on the prepared baking sheet used to bake the cookies. Place the cheesecake batter in a large liquid measuring cup for easy pouring and divide the batter between the springform pans.
- Place the baking pan in the oven and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Allow to bake until cooked through and slightly puffed, 25 to 35 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the whipped cream, in a medium bowl with an electric hand beater, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to soft peaks. Place the whipped cream in a 10-inch featherweight piping bag fitted with a Wilton 21 star tip.
- When the cheesecakes are entirely cooled, unmold from their pans and pipe the edges with stars. Crumble a baked cookie around the edges of each cheesecake and refrigerate until ready to serve.