Macadamia Cheesecake Bites

Filling - 1 cup mascarpone cheese - 1 cup cream cheese - 3 eggs - 1/2 cup sugar - 1/2 cup macadamia nut butter - 1/2 tsp vanilla paste - 1 TBS amaretto - 1/4 tsp salt Crust - 1 & 1/2 cups animal crackers (crushed) - 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (reserve 1/4 cup for garnish) - 1/2 cup melted butter
1. Prepare crust. Combine cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup nuts and butter in a mixing bowl. Press into an even layer in a parchment lined 9" x 13" baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. 2. Prepare Filling. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, mascarpone and cream cheese. Then fold in remaing ingredients. Once combined, add to crust. Bake in water bath at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes. 3. Chill, Garnish and Serve. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Slice into 1.5" squares. Top each square with whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped macadamia nuts. As an additional step, macadamia nuts used for garnish can be candied by combining nuts with 1/4 cup amaretto in a non-stick pan over low-medium heat and stirring constantly until liquid completely evaporates leaving nuts with a delicious crystaline amaretto coating.