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Mini Chestnut Cheesecakes


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Mini Chestnut Cheesecakes





2 (5.25-ounce) packages thin ginger cookies
¼ cup plus 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 large egg, separated
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup finely ground chestnuts
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Garnish: 6 thin ginger cookies, broken into fourths 


• Preheat oven to 325°.
• In the work bowl of a food processor, combine cookies, ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Pulse until mixture is well blended.
• With motor running, slowly add melted butter. Continue processing until mixture is uniform. Evenly divide mixture among 12 wells of a mini removable-bottom cheesecake pan. Press mixture firmly in the bottoms and up the sides of wells.
• Bake until sides just begin to brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool.
• In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, beating well. Add egg yolk, beating well. Add sour cream, ground chestnuts, and vanilla extract, beating until just blended. Divide batter evenly among wells of prepared pan.
• Bake until centers are almost set, 20 to 28 minutes.
• Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours.
• For garnish, dip fluted ends of cookie pieces in egg white, then immediately dip in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Place on a wire rack or parchment paper to dry.
• Garnish each cheesecake with 2 sugared cookie pieces, if desired. 


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