Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

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Eggnog was never a holiday tradition in my house, in fact I just tried it for the first time yesterday! Stephen has told me time and time again how much he loves it, but somehow year after year I never get it for him. I'm a terrible person, I know. However, when I was at the grocery store this weekend I actually noticed it sitting there on the shelf, so I grabbed a bottle off it and shoved it in my cart. Needless to say I had one surprised and happy husband when I arrived home with it in hand! Yesterday afternoon we opened it and I tried some. It was thick and incredibly rich. I'm pretty sure I drank too much. Is that possible? It was sooo filling! I don't know, do you love it enough to drink a tall glass of it, or do you drink it in small amounts? Hmmm... anyway, I decided to use the last bit of it to make these mini cheesecakes. They turned out tasting amazing, and the best part? They were in creamy bite-sized portions! Everyone loved them, including me! (For those of you wondering about the pan, you can find it here.)

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
1 package (8 oz) original cream cheese, room temperature
¼ c. eggnog
1½ tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¹⁄₈ tsp. nutmeg

For the crust:
6 gingersnap cookies
2 graham crackers
1½  tbsp. melted butter
1½ tsp. brown sugar
pinch of salt

For the spiced vanilla bean whipped cream:
1 c. heavy cream
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Seeds from ¼ a vanilla bean
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan with baking spray. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust, except for the melted butter. The mixture should resemble slightly coarse crumbs. Remove mixture and pour melted butter over. Mix until crumbs are wet. Press into the bottom of each hole. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
3. While crust is baking prepare filling beating together cream cheese, sugar, and eggnog until smooth. Add spices, vanilla, and egg. Mix until just combined. Fold in flour with spatula.
4. Pour filling over each crust, dividing evenly. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing cheesecakes (yes your cheesecakes will sink a little, this is normal).
5. Remove cheesecakes from pan using the bottom of a wooden spoon. Using a butter knife, remove metal bottoms and place cheesecakes in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
6. While cheesecakes are cooling, prepare vanilla bean whipped cream by fitting a chilled mixing bowl into your stand mixer. Add heavy cream, sugar, scraped vanilla bean seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon. Using the whisk attachment beat on high for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks begin to form. Return to refrigerator until cheesecakes are ready to be served.
7. To assemble top with a swirl of whipped cream.
Stephen + Natalie | Makes 12 mini cheesecakes using the Chicago Metallic Mini Cheesecake Pan

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