Mini cheesecakes

I’m a sucker for a good cheesecake, but they can be a bit of an ordeal to make. But cheesecake in miniature in only a third of the bake time was music to my ears. Plus, they would make for a nice portable dessert, easy to bring and share at a socially-distanced picnic.

Recipe

from Preppy Kitchen
Makes 18 mini cheesecakes

for the Crust
16 graham crackers
½ cup pecans, toasted
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

for the Filling
1 lb cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks
⅓ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake/muffin tins with paper cups.

Add crackers and toasted pecans to food processor and pulse until broken into small pieces. Add sugar and cinnamon then pulse until mixed in completely. Pour in melted butter and pulse until incorporated. Remove blades to mix butter in completely.

Use a tablespoon to transfer the mixture to your cupcake tin. Press into a flat layer using a shot glass or small flat tool. Bake for about 8 minutes at 350 F, or until fragrant and a slightly darker golden colour. Remove from oven, set aside.

For the filling, add cream cheese to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix at medium speed to cream. Add sugar and salt to the bowl and mix until creamy (scraping bowl down to ensure it’s integrated). Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix well, then add the eggs and yolks one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down and mix until completely smooth.

Use an ice cream scoop to transfer cheesecake filling to fill the cups, filling about ¾ the way up to the top. Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes. Turn oven off but leave door closed and allow cake to rest for an additional 20 minutes in the oven. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Garnish the cake with dollops of whipped cream, berries, melted chocolate, or just enjoy plain.

Musings

A few notes on preparation: I’ve made this dessert a couple of times now. This last time, I realized in writing up the recipe that I actually misread the recipe and bought one package (instead of one pound) of cream cheese. I had enough filling for 12 mini cheesecakes.

These little guys are absolutely delightful! Given how labour intensive full-size cheesecakes can be, with water baths and long cooking times, I love the relative ease of this recipe. The cheesecake themselves have a great texture, not overly dense, and are delicately flavoured, without being overly sweet. I drizzled this batch with a quick blueberry compote (heated 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 2 tbsp sugar, and a 1 tsp of lemon juice to the desired consistency). Didn’t actually notice being short on cream cheese, so saving myself on a few calories for the win! They seemed to be a hit with the picnic-goers (evidenced by the fact I only had one cheesecake left with which to take a photo). A great staple dessert to have in the back pocket.

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