When I think of walnuts, I can't help but pair it up with maple, and these mini cheesecakes are perfect for a special occasion dessert! I was asked by the California Walnut Commission to come up with a great holiday dessert using their delicious walnuts! How could I resist? Maple Walnut ice cream was my childhood favorite, and this takes me right back.
3/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
1 tbsp maple sugar
1/2 cup California walnuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup butter, melted
Line each of the muffin cups in a large muffin tin with foil, smoothing it out as best you can. Set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the graham wafer crumbs, maple sugar, and walnuts. Drizzle the melted butter over top and stir. Divide the mixture among the six muffin cups, pressing it into the bottom of the cups. Set aside.
two 8 oz packages of cream cheese
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp maple extract
Pre-heat oven to 325 F.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the maple syrup and extract, beating on low until well combined.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes.
5 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup maple sugar
1 cup California walnut halves
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the walnuts in maple syrup, shaking off the excess, then roll in maple sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Bake in a 325 F oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Let cool.
Gently remove the foil from each cheesecake. Chop about half of the candied walnuts and roll each cheesecake in the nuts, coating the sides. Place the cheesecakes on a plate and top with whipped cream and candied walnuts as a garnish.
Makes 6 mini cheesecakes. Keep them refrigerated for a few days, or you could possibly freeze them, wrapped, and with out the garnishes.