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pecan praline cheesecakes in white liners on cutting board with nuts on top and words on photo

I have Christmas present sixth sense. I have no idea what my kid is thinking half the time and I don’t see dead people, but I can figure out, 90% of the time, what my Christmas presents are before I open them.

I don’t remember when it started, but I do vividly remember picking up the box that had my new car stereo in it when I was 16. I picked up the box and immediately knew what was inside. That’s the only example I remember, but I do know it’s happened lots of other times. Like, every year. Even when my gift is wrapped in a different box, if I pick it up and jiggle it a little, I can usually detect what’s inside.

This is why putting out my gifts early at Christmas is always a two-edged sword. I have no patience and I’m as curious as a cat. The two things together, paired with my present sense, make it reealllly hard for me to stay away from the Christmas tree.

My presents from Mel went under the tree a few days ago. So far, I’ve been good. I was SO tempted the other day, when Mel and Jordan were out, to go over and pick up the boxes and perform my magic. But I was a good girl: I didn’t.

There, however, is still two weeks until Christmas. We’ll see if my goodness lasts.

pecan praline cheesecakes in white liners on cutting board with nuts on top

I bet, if you try really hard, you can have some sixth sense about these cheesecakes. They’re mini cheesecakes, obviously. And they have a pecan praline topping, obviously. But they have a secret too…the crust. These bad boys are built on the foundation of one of my favorite cookies, the Pecan Sandie. (It is Pecan Sandie, right? Or is it a Pecan Sandy? I mean, the box is called Pecan Sandies. What if I’m talking about just one?)

I was too lazy to use my food processor to make a traditional, ground-up cookie crust. I mean really. It takes 10 seconds to grind and 10 minutes to clean. Sometimes, I just want to leave things whole. It’s a good thing that the Pecan Sandies fit right into my cupcake pan, a perfect fit.

The cheesecake has pecans and toffee bits inside. And the topping. Well, it’s pure magic, let me tell you. Butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Or, wonderfulness.

pecan praline cheesecakes in white liners on cutting board with nuts on top

So, while I’m sitting on my hands trying NOT to go shake my Christmas presents, I’m going to stuff my face. Good trade off, right?

Pecan praline cheesecakes in white cupcake liners on a wooden board.

Pecan Praline Cheesecakes

5 from 1 vote


For the Cheesecakes:

  • 16 Pecan Sandies Cookies
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream , room temperature
  • 1 egg , room temperature
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 16 muffin cup holes with liners (reserve a few extra, in case you have extra cheesecake. I got 16.) Place one Pecan Sandie cookie in each cup.
  • Beat room temperature cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Beat in room temperature sour cream. Beat in egg, sugar, and vanilla until (mostly) no lumps remain. (Room temperature ingredients are a must to avoid lumps, believe me!) Stir in chopped pecans and toffee bits.
  • Evenly divide (about 2 tablespoons each) cheesecake among cookie crusts. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until they just begin to brown. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • To make the topping, melt butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Boil for about 2 minutes and remove from heat. Immediately stir in toasted chopped pecans. Place about 1/2 teaspoon on each cheesecake. Work fast - this hardens as the mixture cools. Let cool before serving.

Recipe Notes

To toast pecans, place in a small saucepan over low heat for just a few minutes. DO NOT WALK AWAY. They burn quickly!
Store in refrigerator.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

Like cheesecake? Check out my Pinterest board, or these fab treats:

Oatmeal Cheesecake Scotchie Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Biscoff Crust

Butterfinger Mousse Cheesecake by Inside BruCrew Life

Mini Oreo Turtle Cheesecakes by Steak ‘N Potatoes Kind of Gurl

Caramel Cheesecake Pumpkin Cups by Something Swanky

This post may be linked to: Chef in Training, Trick or Treat TuesdayLil’ LunaSweet Treats SaturdayChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff SaturdayWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Party, and all of these too!

Last Updated on May 12, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. I can’t tell you what my presents are, my hubby is a last minute shopper, lol. Now about these cuties. Just send me a couple and I won’t care about the lack of presents under the tree. In fact, maybe if I make these, I can convince the hubby to go shopping some time before the 23rd, I’ll use them as bribery. And Pecan Sandies, awesome cookie crust!

  2. I love that you used a whole cookie for the crust!

    I totally pulled the same trick as your mom when I was 12 (magical age?) and unwrapped all my presents. It definitely ruined Christmas although I got lots of practice using my “surprised face”.

  3. Two recipes in one day? Waaait, is it Christmas already? If so, I need to be unwrapping presents STAT. Also, I can’t wait for you to get my present! I wonder if you can ESP my presents for you and figure out what they are… I bet you can’t 🙂 and yeah, that’s a challenge so bring it on!!

  4. These were wonderful. And I’m afraid you got the curiousness about Christmas presents from me. I never had the 6th sense so when I was little I used to wait until no one was home and open my packages carefully, then rewrap them. One year when I was about 11 or 12, I wasn’t satisfied just knowing what MY gifts were so I opened every present under the tree and rewrapped them about a week before Christmas. No one ever knew! It kind of ruined my Christmas.
    Love, Mom

  5. see that is why Santa puts all the gifts under the tree Christmas eve, or else this little person would be peaking way too much!

  6. What an AMAZING idea to use pecan sandies as crust!! These little cheesecakes sound to die. And at least your presents have made it wrapped and under the tree… I’m about 110% sure mine are still
    On the shelves at the store 🙂