Fair warning: Once you try these petite pistachio and vanilla bean cheesecakes by Kailley of Kailley’s Kitchen, you’ll have a hard time going back to plain cheesecake. Between the vanilla bean flavoring and the pistachios candied with brown sugar, these decadent treats will stand out on any dessert table. It’s also a bonus that they just look adorable! Here’s what Kailley has to say about her recipe:
These petite vanilla bean cheesecakes sit atop a slightly sweet pistachio crust, and sport a crown of shallow pools of honey and crumbly candied pistachios. The earthy, nutty crunch of the pistachios really balances out the richness of the filling, providing a bit of welcome texture to an otherwise creamy dessert. They’re naturally gluten-free, and make the perfect sweet treat for Easter brunch, a wedding shower, and every sort of springtime gathering in between. They’re certainly big enough for sharing, but I’m not sure you’re going to want to!
PETITE PISTACHIO AND VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKES
Makes six 3-inch cheesecakes
—1 cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios
—1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
—3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
—16 ounces (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
—1 cup granulated sugar
—1/4 cup heavy cream
—3 large eggs
—2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey brand)
—Pinch of salt
—3/4 cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
—2 heaping tbsp light brown sugar
—1 tbsp hot water
—Honey to drizzle on top
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pulverize pistachios and brown sugar in a food processed until they form a fine crumb.
3. Combine the dry mixture with the melted butter in a small mixing bowl, stirring with a spoon until the texture resembles grainy, wet sand.
4. Evenly distribute crust into the wells of a small cheesecake pan (there should be six 2” x 3” wells).
5. Use the back of a spoon to pack the crust into the base of each well.
6. Place pan in oven and bake crust for 8 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
7. While crust is baking, add cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
8. Add heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and salt and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
9. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until just incorporated.
10. Spoon the filling evenly to each well of the pan.
11. Reset the oven to 325 degrees F.
12. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until filling is just set.
13. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for four hours.
14. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep oven set at 350 degrees F.
15. Combine brown sugar and hot water in a small mixing bowl and whisk until sugar dissolves.
16. Add chopped pistachios to the wet mixture and thoroughly coat.
17. Pour coated pistachios out onto lines baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly toasted.
18. Remove pistachios from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
19. Once cheesecake have set, drizzle a bit of honey on top of each cake and crumble candied pistachios over the honey.
20. Serve at room temperature.