Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

Yum, yum, yum! This was my first attempt at cheesecake, albeit in miniature form, and I must say I was quite impressed. The recipe comes from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

These bite-size morsels of deliciousness were very easy to make and the fresh strawberry topping added the perfect fruity finish. Of course you could really use any fruit or berry, softened in the same manner, for the topping. Strawberries worked well for summer, but I bet pear would be delicious in the fall.

Next time I make this recipe, I might consider adding a chocolate or graham cookie crust at the bottom of each paper liner. Chilling helped hold the whole thing together, but I think a crust would help even more. 

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 TBS all-purpose flour

makes 24+ mini cupcakes

To make the topping, combine 1/2 pound of the strawberries with the sugar in a non-reactive saucepan. Use a fork to gently mash the strawberries. Cook over medium-high heat until the strawberries are softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 pound strawberries and lemon juice. Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely. (The topping can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 24-cup miniature muffin pan with miniature paper or foil liners. To make the filling, in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each; add the flour and beat until combined.

Divide the cream cheese filling evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake until the cheesecakes are just set in the center, about 15 minutes. Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, transfer the cheesecakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Refrigerate cheesecakes in an airtight container at least overnight or for up to 3 days. Spoon about 1 TBS of the strawberry topping onto each chilled cheesecake and serve right away.

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