cheesecake

Halloween Candy Mini Cheesecakes

Kit Kat Mini Cheesecake

Kit Kat Mini Cheesecake

Due to really cold, wet weather I found myself with a lot of leftover Halloween candy. I needed to make a dessert for a dinner later tonight so I decided to  use the candy in the dessert. I came up with a couple of ideas and wanted to share them with you. The first idea I came up with was mini cheesecakes. I’ve made them before so I used my recipe and just folded in crushed candy bars. Once the cheesecakes cool they deflate a little so I also added some crushed candy bars to the top to make them look nice. Only change from the original recipe was a slight decrease in sugar to compensate for the extra sweetness of the candy. I used what I had leftover, but I am sure a lot of different candy bars would work. I used a small food processor to really crush up the candy bars. I made 2 batches, one with cookies and cream candy bars and the other with Kit Kat bars.

 

 

 

Halloween Candy Mini Cheesecakes

12 vanilla wafers
2 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs

2/3 c. crushed candy bars plus 1/4 c. crushed candy bar, for topping

 

Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 wafer in each. Beat together remaining ingredients (except candy)  for 1 minute with electric mixer. Fold in candy. Divide this mixture in the muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool and decorate with extra crushed candy. Makes 12. These can be frozen.

Cookies and Creme Mini Cheesecakes

Cookies and Creme Mini Cheesecakes

Leftovers

Leftovers

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

I always enjoy the combination of lemon and cheesecake. I wanted a new recipe and decided to  jazz up the flavor with lemonade both in the filling and as a glaze on top. The end result is just what I had hoped for. Creamy, not too sweet and a pop of lemon flavor from the glaze. I also wanted to add more texture to the crust so I added some oats in addition to the graham crackers and baked this cheesecake in a 9×13-inch pan. You could serve it with a few berries on top, if you like. Here is the recipe.

Lemonade Cheesecake Squares

Crust:
¾ c. butter (1½ sticks)
1 ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. oatmeal, old-fashioned or quick cooking
¼ t. salt
Filling:
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed*
3 T. flour
2 eggs
2 t. grated lemon peel
Glaze:
¾ c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed*
2½  T. cornstarch

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Beat together butter with the rest of crust ingredients. Press into bottom of prepared pan and bake 20 minutes. Beat cream cheese, lemonade and flour until fluffy. Stir in eggs and peel. Pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Cool then add the glaze. To make the glaze: in small saucepan combine the lemonade with the cornstarch. Heat together over medium heat until mixture becomes thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Pour over cheesecake. Store covered in fridge. Makes 24 squares.

*You can use store bought frozen lemonade concentrate or here is the recipe I use to make my own.

Homemade Lemonade Concentrate

1 1/3 c. lemon juice- fresh or bottled

1 c. sugar

lemon zest, optional

Combine ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Freeze until ready to use. Makes a little over 1 1/2 cups. To use: combine three parts water to one part  concentrate.

http://thecharmedkitchen.com/2014/07/12/homemade-lemonade-mix/

 

 

 

 

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

Balaton Cherry Cheesecakes- Gluten Free

I was having some friends over recently and wanted a gluten free dessert. I was also lucky enough to have recently received some frozen cherries from King Orchards in Michigan.* Inspiration struck and I ended up making these mini cherry cheesecakes. The crust is a shortbread type cookie made with gluten free flour. The filling pretty straight forward with a nice splash of lemon juice and vanilla. The cherries are a variety called Balaton with Hungarian origins. While they are considered a tart cherry they are darker than most tart cherries and have a sweetness to them that I just love. I used 2 cups of frozen cherries-I like a lot of cherries on my cheesecake- but I only used 2 tablespoons of sugar to sweeten them. The recipe made a dozen. Here is what I did.

Balaton Cherry Mini Cheesecakes – Gluten Free

Crust:

1/4 c. softened butter

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. gluten free flour – found in some grocery stores- I got mine at Costco

pinch of salt.

Filling: 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. lemon juice

2 t. vanilla

2 eggs

Balaton Cherry Topping:

2 c. Balaton cherries- or other frozen tart cherries- thawed

2 T. sugar, or to your taste

1 t. tapioca starch- you could also use cornstarch

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin pans with paper or foil liners. In mixing bowl combine ingredients for crust by first mixing the butter and sugar together and then stirring in the flour and salt. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll into balls. Place one ball in each paper lined pan and press to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes. While crust is baking make the filling. Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until smooth.  Stir in the eggs. Spoon the batter into the muffin pans- they will be pretty full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffy and set. Cheesecakes will flatten a little when cooled. While the cheesecakes are baking you can make the cherry topping. Pour off any liquid from the defrosted cherries into a small saucepan. You should have about half a cup. Add sugar and tapioca starch or cornstarch and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture thickens- it just takes a few minutes. Stir in the cherries and allow mixture to cool down. Once cheesecakes and topping are both cooled down spoon cherries over the cheesecakes and chill until ready to eat. These could be frozen- but you aren’t going to have any left over.

*http://kingorchards.com/

 

 

 

Creamy Baked Cheesecake

Creamy Baked Cheesecake

Creamy Baked Cheesecake

It’s one of our favorite desserts and for good reason. Cheesecake is rich and satisfying in a way no other dessert can be. I make a lot of different cheesecakes and this is one of my favorites. Simple to make and you can top it with any number of goodies to make it your own. If you get cracks in your cheesecake try buttering the pan first. It will help to prevent cracking. Also, don’t over mix the eggs. Just stir them in.

    Creamy Baked Cheesecake

1/3 c. butter

1 ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs

¼ c. sugar

2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

3 eggs

¼ c. lemon juice

8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Combine margarine, crumbs and sugar and press firmly into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Stir in eggs and juice and mix well. Pour into prepared crust and bake 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool completely then spread sour cream over the top.