Mini Cheesecakes

Tri-City HeraldMay 26, 2013 

The cover of the Food & Wine section May 29 will feature "On the rocks: Summer and rum go hand in hand". Inside you’ll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects. For past food stories and recipes go to www.tri-cityherald.com/food-wine.

Here is an easy recipe for making individual cheesecakes for spring celebrations from the Kraft kitchens. You can make such a pretty presentation without a lot of effort, perfect for a spring brunch, bridal showers or graduation parties. Chef Carrie Conway offers these tips to be sure your cheesecakes bake the way they should:

— Set out ingredients about 10 minutes before using so you can work with them at room temperature.

— Allow your oven to heat while preparing your filling.

— Do not over-beat. Over-stirring can add too much air to the batter, which can cause the cheesecakes to crack. Beat in eggs, one at time, on low speed until just blended.

— Don’t peek! Opening the oven door while cheesecake is baking causes drafts that may lead to cracking. Another way to prevent cracking is to immediately run a knife around the edge of the finished cheesecake to loosen it from the sides of the pan.

MINI CHEESECAKES

Instead of graham crackers, you could use cookie crumbs or ground nuts for the crust. Feel free to substitute other seasonal fruit for the blueberries. Or spread the cooled cheesecakes with strawberry jam and garnish with fresh strawberry halves and mint sprigs.

Ingredients

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar plus 3/4 cup, divided
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix graham crumbs with 2 tablespoons sugar and butter.

Press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crusts.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until centers are almost set. Set aside on a rack to cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours. Beat whipping cream with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; spread onto cheesecakes. Top with blueberries and zest.

Makes 18 servings.

Per serving: 273 calories (68 percent from fat), 21 g fat (11.8 g saturated, 5.5 g monounsaturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, .6 g fiber, 197 mg sodium.

From: The Miami Herald

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