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Gluten-Free S’mores Mini Cheesecakes

MAKES 12 MINI CAKES
Author Cindy F. McIntosh

Ingredients

  • 1 (7.5-ounce) box gluten-free honey graham crackers (we like Pamela’s brand)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with cuypcake liners.

  2. In a food processor, pulse about three-fourths of the graham crackers to make 1 cup of crumbs.
  3. In a bowl, combine the crumbs, melted butter, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix just until they come together. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to the bottom of each cupcake liner, pressing down to coat the bottom. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the sugar in an electric mixer until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice. Beat in the 2 eggs, scrape the bowl well, then beat for 20 more seconds.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter over each of the prebaked cheesecake crusts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at until just set. Let cool for 30 minutes (the middles will sink a bit), then freeze for 2 hours in the tin. Store the cheesecakes in a sealed bag in the freezer until use.
  6. Remove the wrappers from the cheesecakes and let them thaw in the fridge.
  7. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. In a small pot, heat the cream and a pinch of salt over medium heat until the cream begins bubbling at the sides. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, wait 30 seconds, then whisk until the ganache is smooth. Keep warm.
  8. Fill a saucepan over medium heat one-third of the way with water. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar to combine. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. (If it does, remove some water.) Warm the egg whites, whisking occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the meringue on medium-high until shiny with stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
  9. Adjust the oven rack to 3 inches from the heat. Turn on the broiler. Place the thawed cheesecakes on a sheet pan. Using a pastry bag or spoon, pipe or top each with a heaping tablespoonful of meringue. Broil, watching closely, for 90 seconds or until the meringue is just toasted. Drizzle with chocolate ganache and serve.