Salted Caramel Pretzel Mini Cheesecakes
These simple salted caramel pretzel mini cheesecakes start with a buttery graham cracker crust, then a twisty pretzel, perfectly sweetened vanilla cheesecake, another pretzel, and sea salted caramel sauce. So pretty, no one will ever guess they're so easy to make!
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 13 sheets if you are crushed them yourself)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (2 8-ounce bricks, do not use fat free)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce (see note)
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 36 mini pretzel twists, divided
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners (not foil liners).
First prepare the crust. Combine graham cracker crumbs (or graham cracker sheets, broken into several pieces) and sugar to a food processor or blender and pulse until combined (or until your graham cracker sheets become fine crumbs). Add melted butter and continue to pulse another 30 seconds or so until mixture is moistened.
Add about 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture to each cupcake liner. Gently press and flatten mixture with your thumb to make an even layer in the bottom of each liner. Bake for 5 minutes.
Prepare the cheesecake layer by creaming together the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Place one pretzel in each liner, flat on top of the crust. Fill each liner 3/4 full with the cheesecake mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheesecake is set. (Just wiggle the pan a little big and if the cheesecake doesn't move much it's done)
Allow to cool about 15 minutes. Top each cheesecake with about a teaspoon of caramel sauce, then place one pretzel and top and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Chill at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
For the caramel sauce, you can easily use caramel ice cream topping OR I have an Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce you can whip up at home. My recipe can be made salted or unsalted. If you decide to make mine and do add the salt to the caramel sauce, you don't need to sprinkle any additional sea salt on top of the cheesecakes.