OK I have made them. They were not particularly hard just take a little bit of time. If I was going to do this again I would probably make the mini pies and the frosting a day ahead of time to avoid a full marathon baking session. The cream cheese cake batter creates a denser cake than your average white cake recipe (or mix for that matter). I SUSPECT that you could probably still make everything work if you used a different cake, but I would use the more skookum foil lined baking cups instead of the flimsy paper ones and be especially careful to let the cupcakes cool completely before trying to handle them.
I was also unable to find cinnamon chips so I made butterscotch chip ganache and added cinnamon to it. I did not end up adding the entire ganache because I felt that it would become TOO sweet. This is by far and away my most favorite frosting recipe of all time now and I look forward to tweaking it for other uses. I made it in the stand mixer so it got really fluffy and is to die for.
ProTip - Get an extra pie crust. You'll have enough pie filling left over for a couple pot pie sized pies or maybe a smallish regular pie.
Second ProTip - I also ended up with enough batter for 6 more full cupcakes but had only made 24 mini-pies. You might also make another dozen mini-pies and probably get another 6-8 cupcake combos.
No more CNNSI? Well, hell... it's not as if I watched it for anything but the NBA news, anyway. So no loss to me. For the best sports coverage on television, it's ESPN. But they charge you for your website, so CNNSI has the best web coverage.