Friday, January 24, 2014

Mini Cheesecakes

I don't know what most husbands like to call dessert, but mine is an absolute sucker for anything with cream cheese. This raspberry cream pie, for example, was an instant hit and continues to waver between Favorite Dessert #1 and Favorite Dessert #2. It wavers based on whether it's made and available or not, because if it's not available, then his favorite is the subject of today's post: Mini Cheesecakes.

I don't really think I can overstate this man's obsession with cream cheese. He'll eat it on crackers. He'll eat it spread on deli ham and turned into a roll. Despite his disdain for pasta, he'll eat chicken alfredo if I make it with cream cheese. He's a big fan of Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes with cream cheese. (Well, anybody who tastes them is, to be honest.) Cream cheese enchiladas are also a win.

I'm assuming you get the point.

Fortunately, I subscribe to food values that say saturated fat is not bad for you, and I have no problem enabling him to eat these things. He's a hard working man, whether it's in the hot summer or the cold winter, and if there's one thing that'll get a man through a cold winter, it's saturated fats. They burn as heat and make life a lot more bearable.

I recently found out that despite his hefty breakfast and dinner menus, somehow the middle of the day was not providing my bacon-winner with enough calories, and he was hungry. I'm not entirely sure how this managed to escape my attention, but I promptly set to work building him a selection of protein based snacks to keep in the fridge for- well, whenever.  The thing is, he's not always home for lunch, and it's a total toss up as to whether he'll remember to stop and pick something up, or- much more likely- get busy, forget to eat, and come home at three, starving. It doesn't work well for the dinner schedule.

So what's the snack selection comprised of? Well, three primary things: black bean brownies, deviled eggs, and mini cheesecakes. None of these are powerhouses of protein, but they're respectable stop gaps until the next meal, logging in at 2.67 g. for each cheesecake, 2.75 g. per brownie, and 3 g. per half an egg. The fat in them helps this as well, since saturated fat contributes to satiety.

I know cheesecake is meant to be a dessert, but honestly, I hardly see it as one. I cut the sugar waaaaay back since he doesn't care in the least if his cream cheese is sweetened. (I do, and I fix that by adding cherry pie filling on top.) I buy the organic cream cheese which has less suspect ingredients added in. I cut back the sugar and use our super yellow pastured eggs. I make the Nilla wafers myself because talk about a sketchy ingredient list. And if I want pie filling on top, I make that too, (using this recipe) since I finally succeeded in tracking down pie cherries. If you've ever gone on a hunt to buy pie cherries (the tart ones), you will understand how frustrated I was with this venture. Despite resources that have access to produce from out of state, I had no luck finding them until I went clear to Oregon to visit family and found a bag of frozen ones tucked into the corner of a vegetable market.

Obviously I'll be planting a cherry tree this year. It's easier.

Anyway, moving on. I'll post my renditions of the recipes for the wafers and the pie filling another time, but if you happen to be interested in plain cheesecake, this is the way to go. If you want to try the pie filling recipe or the wafer recipe, click here or here.

By the way, this recipe is insanely popular at potlucks.

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 cupcakes)
Nilla wafers (if you'd like to try these from scratch, click here)
2 8oz. bricks cream cheese, room temp (you know my opinion on the low-fat me a favor and don't do it!)
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar (this breaks down to 1 teaspoon per cupcake...seems pretty forgivable to me.)
2 T. lemon juice

Place a wafer at the bottom of each of 12 muffin papers. Alternately, you can run the entire box/batch of cookies through your processor and turn them into crumbs, which is what I do. The homemade recipe I use isn't quite like the storebought, but they tasted fine in crumb form. Plus, the wafer just doesn't quite fill out the bottom of the muffin paper.  :-) A spoon full of crumbs will do nicely.

Add all ingredients together in a bowl and beat well, until smooth. If your cream cheese is not entirely room temp, it won't get smooth, but that's your call, not a crisis. In this series of pictures I did exactly that, and you can see that the texture is somewhat like creamy cottage cheese. I wasn't real worried about it, and in fact Rob proclaimed them better than usual because he likes the cream cheese chunks. Men...

That lovely yellow shade is from our hard working hens' eggs!

Distribute your filling into the 12 papers and bake at 350* for 15-17 minutes.

Let cool and then chill for best flavor. Add pie filling if desired and chow down! Like you could do anything else when faced with this:


  1. Do you end up using all the cream cheese for the 12? So a double batch would take 4 bricks. And does a single batch of the wafer recipe make enough for a regular batch?

    1. I use all the cream cheese for 12, yes, so 24 is 4 bricks. The wafer recipe makes more than enough for a single batch. I usually turn 'em into crumbs and keep them in a jar so I don't have to think about them as often as I make the cheesecake. :-)

  2. G'day! LOVE cheesecake! YUM!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of the Foodie Friends Friday Potato Lovers Party!