Sorry about my mini-hiatus yesterday. Brendan ended up with a snow day, so we spent the day hanging out, going to the gym, and making pierogies (recipe forthcoming). Anyway, it was nice to have an unexpected day off, especially after my busy weekend. You see, on Saturday I provided desserts for a fundraiser. More than just a batch or two of brownies for a bake sale, I fed 120 people cupcakes, cheesecakes, and cookies. It was a lot of fun, but a lot of work. People raved about the peanut butter cookies, cranberry cookies, and chocolate cupcakes. However, I think the winner was the bite-sized blueberry cheesecakes.
I think generally speaking, cheesecakes just seem fancy. Of course you can go to the Cheesecake Factory, but trying to make cheesecake from scratch is daunting to me. I once tried to make a full-sized cheesecake. It was chocolate toffee, and the batter was delicious. I baked it, and it came out a little cracked, but looking darn good. I let it cool, and then popped open the spring form pan…and it oozed out in my hands. Oh my goodness, it was a disaster. Since then, I’ve skirted around the whole cheesecake thing. It was an unnecessary hassle.
Once I found out about the fundraiser, though, I knew I wanted to serve things that were a bit different. My mom suggested cheesecake bites and I looked at her like she was nuts: did she not remember my great cheesecake failure? She finally convinced me to just try them, and boy am I glad she did. These babies are so easy to make! Seriously, the batter comes together in the stand mixer and they bake in a mini-cupcake tin in about 12 minutes. And once they cool, they are perfect cheesecakey happiness! I dressed them up with blueberry topping, but chocolate chips or raspberries would work really well too. Honestly, I sort of want to steal a copy of the Cheesecake Factory menu and start making these in all the different varieties. If you like cheesecake, this is a recipe you have to try. You will not be disappointed, I promise!
Bite-Sized Blueberry Cheesecakes
This makes between around 100 mini cheesecakes; you can easily reduce the recipe for a smaller batch
- 2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 8 tbsp butter, melted
- 4 8 oz packages full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups white sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup full fat sour cream
- 3 – 4 pints blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 300, and line mini muffin tins with foil wrappers (the paper ones don’t hold their shapes as well).
- In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press about a teaspoon of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin wrapper. Place the tins in the fridge to set while you make the filling.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and salt, and continue to beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated.
- Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until just combined.
- Scoop about a tablespoon into each mini muffin tin (I used a small cookie scoop, and it was the perfect amount).
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheesecakes are set (they will still be a little wobbly, but that’s ok).
- Cool in tins for about an hour, then transfer cheesecakes to the fridge to cool for at least two hours.
- For topping: Wash blueberries. Combine about one cup of berries with the sugar and a tablespoon or so of water, and cook over medium heat until the berries burst, as though you were making cranberry sauce. Strain the cooked mixture, reserving the liquid. Combine the remaining berries with the liquid and let stand for a few hours. Top the cheesecakes with the berries as desired.