Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Tartlets

September was a month of failed cookies. We bake cookies once a week for our Blue Hill Tasting Room, and in September, we managed to ruin one batch out of every ten. 

So there were a lot of cookies in the staff break room last month. Which was hearty comfort for folks grieving the end of a beautiful New England summer. Oh stop it. I hear you whining. "But it was sooo hot..." It's summer, people. Being hot is Summer's entire job.

Anyway, we ate a lot of cookies. But a crew of 4 people can't keep up with one failed batch in every ten around here, so I made a few of those failures into cookie crumbs for future baking projects.

In the case of these tartlets, I made a crust out of a bag of molasses cookies that were too far gone even for the crew around here. I mixed the crumbs with just enough melted butter to hold it together and pressed it into 4-inch tart molds. I refrigerated the molds, and then filled them with the following filling recipe. 

After baking, then chilling, and then smothering each tiny tart with a mountain of sweet freshly whipped cream, the result was a velvety soft cheesecake shot through with little nuggets of dark chocolate, enveloped in all the coziness of an actual molasses cookie. 

You are probably a better baker than I am, so it's doubtful that you have bags of ruined cookies stashed away in your office waiting to be rescued by a spark of culinary inspiration, but any cookie crumb crust should do. Even a graham cracker crust wouldn't go amiss here.

This recipe is a trimmed down version of the recipe on the back of our Pumpkin Spice Drinking Chocolate bags, and yes, you'll need some of that to make the cheesecakes.

Here we go:

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE TARTLETS

Makes six 4-inch tartlets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe cookie crumb crust (I used 1-1/2 cups crumbs, and 4 tablespoons melted butter)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces pumpkin puree (homemade or from a can)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Drinking Chocolate mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Press the crumb crust into 6 4-inch tart pans with a removable bottom. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 eggs, pumpkin puree, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract into a food processor. Whir the ingredients until very smooth. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the Pumpkin Spice Drinking Chocolate to the food processor with the remaining cream cheese mixture and whir until smooth. 
  3. Pour the chocolate cream cheese mixture into the chilled tart pans, leaving a little space up top. Next, gently spoon the reserved cream cheese mixture in small blobs on top of the chocolate cream cheese batter in the pans. Gently cut through the batter with chopsticks or a butter knife (being careful not to cut through the crust), and drag the knife criss-crosswise, creating a marbled effect in the batter.
  4. Bake the cheesecakes for 20-25 minutes, or until it is firm to the touch, but still a tiny bit jiggly in the very center.
  5. Cool completely, then chill for an hour or more before topping with whipped cream and serving. 

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