This little gems are a good autumn dessert which could quickly make the transition over to a favorite Christmas family favorite. They look good and taste even better.
19 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
caramel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
crust:
1 cup almond meal*** (see below how to make)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 cup melted butterPre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Crush your slivered almonds.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the almond flour, almonds, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the butter and combine with a spoon.
Line a muffin tin with liners. Push the almond mixture into the bottom of the liners. Bake for 10 minutes to set.
Turn oven down to 300°.
In a mixing bowl, add cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and eggs. Beat until light and fluffy.
Spoon mixture into the muffin tins with prepared almond crust. Bake for 40 minutes.
While cakes are cooking, start on the caramel.
Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently for 3 minutes.
Stop stirring and continue cooking 10 minutes or until the color of light brown sugar. Remove from heat; carefully stir in butter and milk. Place pan over medium-high heat until caramelized sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat; cool caramel to room temperature. Cover and chill 1 hour or until slightly thickened.
Take cheesecakes out of the oven when they are done. Once cool, the middle will slightly fall and this is the perfect indent for the caramel. Spoon about 1 tablespoon caramel over each cheesecake.

Homemade almond meal is so easy to make. In less than 5 minutes you can have fresh almond meal, at a fraction of the cost of ready-made products. Be sure to refrigerate (or wrap, label and freeze) any unused almond meal because it can become rancid after being ground and exposed to oxygen and light.
*****ALMOND MEAL: Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Under 5 minutes- Start to Finish!
  1. Place 1/2 cup blanched or unblanched almonds in a clean electric coffee bean grinder.
  2. Put the lid on the coffee bean grinder and pulse several times until a medium-fine textured meal forms. Don’t over-grind or you will make almond butter!
  3. Put ground almond meal in a clean flour sifter. Sift almond meal. Place any large particles of almonds back in coffee bean grinder and pulse again. Sift reremaining almond meal.
  4. That’s it. Use any nut to make fresh, delicious nut meals using this simple technique.Do not over-grind the almonds or you will end up with almond butter!

TIPS:

  1. Use a flour sifter free of any gluten cross-contamination. Make your sifter a “dedicated” gluten free flour sifter- use only gluten free ingredients in it!
  2. Store-bought almond meal is frequently made with blanched almonds- almonds that have had the skins removed. I like to use almonds with their skins on because the skin contains healthy antioxidants.
  3. Always store almond meal in a labeled container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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 HAPPY SEPTEMBER 29 BIRTHDAY TO: Jerry Lee Lewis 78, Calvin Johnson 28, Gene Autry (1907-1998), Mackenzie Crook 42, Ian McShane 41, Russell Peters 43, Alexis Cruz 39, Bryant Gumble 65, Larry Linville (1939-2000), Anita Ekberg 83, and Horatio Nelson (1758-1805).