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Cooking With Kristina – Apple Mini Cheesecakes

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“Cooking with Kristina” is a new feature in the Eagles’ Nest.  Kristina Blakeney, an AMHS senior, has an interest in baking and cooking. She will share weekly cooking tips and tricks to help inspire your cooking. The recipes will relate to each season, so if you are looking for some ideas, look no further.  

This week I made caramel apple mini cheesecakes with streusel topping. I got the recipe from and wanted to see if it was something that would taste as good as it looked in the picture. Overall, this recipe worked out well. I brought them to school and served them to my Journalism class. They were a hit. Journalism teacher Carol Farley said, “These are delicious, do you have any more?”



  • 10 graham cracker sheets, finely crushed (1 ⅓ cups)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


(This may seem a little confusing when you go to make it but just add a little bit of the butter at a time. When you are finished, it is going to  look a little weird; don’t worry, just make sure to put enough on each cheesecake.)

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup quick oats
  • ¼ cup & 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into ½ inch cubes


  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb granny smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped*

(This is about 3 small granny smith apples. I recommend chopping very small so they can cook all the way through.) 

  • 2 tsp lemon juice


(Instead of using this recipe, I bought the caramel sauce from the store. This would have been okay if it wasn’t the kind made for dipping apples. If I made it again, I would make the salted caramel sauce from the recipe. )

Salted Caramel sauce

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ + 2 Tbsp of water
  • ¼ cup salted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt or ¾ tsp Maldon, more to taste if desired


For the crust

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in butter and using a fork, stir until evenly moistened. Divide mixture among 18 paper lined muffin cups, adding a rounded tablespoon to each cup. Press into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes, then move from oven and allow to cool.

For the streusel

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, quick oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add cold butter and using fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it comes together it small crumbles and pieces of butter are no longer visible. Transfer to refrigerator while preparing apple and filling.

For the filling

  • In a bowl, toss chopped apples with lemon juice, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed, cream together cream cheese with sugar just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, and then blend in sour cream and vanilla.

To assemble cheesecakes

  • Divide cheesecake batter evenly among 18 muffin cups pouring filling over crust (I used a ¼ cup and filled it about ¾ full). Divide apples evenly over cheesecake layer, then finish by sprinkling a heaping tablespoon of the streusel over the tops. Bake in preheated oven 23-25 minutes. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes, then transfer to fridge and chill 3 hours. Serve with caramel sauce.

For the caramel sauce:

(Again, this recipe takes some time, so if you are looking for a short cut, buy the caramel.)

  • In a heavy-bottom 2-3 quart saucepan (something that isn’t dark on the bottom so that you can see the shade of caramel), heat sugar and water over medium-high heat whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow mixture to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally. (This will take time, so be patient. It will first bubble  and steam vigorously, and it will be a clear shade. As the bubbling continues, the bubbles will become smaller and slower. The caramel will slowly tint yellowish, then orangish, then a deep reddish orange. That is what you are looking for.) Once the mixture reaches a dark amber color, immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted. Immediately remove from heat. Carefully pour in cream and immediately whisk to combine (it will bubble vigorously). Whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in sea salt. Pour caramel into a glass jar to cool. Once cool, store in an airtight container in refrigerator.



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Cooking With Kristina – Apple Mini Cheesecakes