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Individual Maple Cheesecakes

Remember these? The Individual Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes were so delectable that I’ve been thinking of flavor variations ever since we polished them off.

Then I stumbled upon this recipe for Maple Creme Cheesecake featuring one of my favorite packaged cookies – Trader Joe’s Maple Leaf Cookies – and knew that I wanted needed to make Individual Maple Cheesecakes.

Let’s talk maple for a bit, shall we?

Bear with me for a moment while I get a little nostalgic.

I grew up taking family summer vacations to the Western coastline of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Sparsely populated and boasting breathtaking panoramic vistas of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Prince Edward Island, and the Northumberland Strait, I have nothing but splendid memories of this magnificent place. Included in these memories is the unmistakable flavor of maple permeating through candies, cookies, syrup, and other goodies.

Although I doubt much maple syrup is tapped on Cape Breton, maple treats are sold all over the island. We would rarely return home to PA without jugs of pure maple syrup and maple sugar candies shaped like maple leaves. I also fell in love with melt-in-your mouth maple cream sandwich cookies (much like the cookies from Trader Joe’s, shown in these photographs).

Well, these mini maple cheesecakes are an homage to Canada’s sweet nectar. As I savored one of these little cheesecakes, I couldn’t help but be transported back to that magical place.

A trifecta of maple flavor – maple syrup, maple extract, and maple cream sandwich cookies – yields an outstanding taste sensation. The firm cookie crust provides the perfect textural contrast to the light & creamy filling, and the 3-4 bite cheesecakes are perfectly portion controlled.

These maple cheesecakes just might have earned a spot at the top of my “favorite maple treats” list!

Individual Maple Cheesecakes

inspired by Becky’s Maple Creme Cheesecake

yields 9 individual cheesecakes

Ingredients:

  • 7 maple cream sandwich cookies (such as Trader Joe’s Maple Leaf Cookies)
  • 2 tsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 8 oz neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup (or 4 Tbsp for a sweeter cheesecake filling)
  • 1/4 tsp pure maple extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, (fat free or 2%), at room temperature
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 275*F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and lightly coat bottoms with canola oil cooking spray.
  2. Place the cookies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until fine crumbs form. Add in the 2 tsp applesauce, process until the crumbs stick together when pinched. Divide the moistened crumbs evenly among the prepared muffin cups, pressing down with the back of a spoon to form an even crust. Bake for about 10 minuets, or until the crust is golden. Let cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened neufchatel at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in maple syrup and beat until combined. Beat in maple extract.
  4. Beat in egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in yogurt and salt.
  5. Spoon batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until filling is set, 22-24 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight, before serving.

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