Pear Cheesecake Bites

From TeaTime magazine
Makes 2 dozen miniature cakes

1 3/4 cups granola cereal
1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 (5.5-ounce) can pear nectar
1 (2.35-gram) bag herbal spiced tisane*
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: sugared thyme†

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. In a small bowl, combine granola, graham-cracker crumbs, and 1/4 cup sugar. Add melted butter and egg white, stirring to combine. Press mixture into bottoms and halfway up sides of 2 (12-cup) miniature cheesecake pans.‡ Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

3. Increase oven temperature to 375°.

4. In a small saucepan, bring pear nectar to a boil over medium-high heat. Add tisane bag. Remove pan from heat. Steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard tisane bag. Set nectar aside.

5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add goat cheese, and continue beating until combined. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and reserved nectar, stirring to combine.

6. Evenly divide batter (approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons) among prepared crusts, filling two-thirds full. Bake until puffed and set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for approximately 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

7. Garnish with sugared thyme, if desired.

*For testing purposes, we used Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice herbal tea.
†Lightly coat 24 thyme sprigs with cooking spray. Sprinkle with sugar. Use immediately as a garnish.
‡Chicago Metallic and Norpro both manufacture miniature cheesecake pans. These pans have 12 wells (or cups) and have removable bottoms. Look for them wherever bakeware is sold.

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