Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dandy Cheesecakes

As most of you know, this blog is never about cooking, mainly because I come from a long line of writers.

Cooking is work. It is under appreciated and, thank you God, readily available outside my kitchen.

Genetics. Laziness. Call it what you will. I just don't see the point. (And besides, haven't we all eaten enough?)

In Christmases past, we've been known to enjoy gourmet Chinese in homage to Ralphie and his turkey-less family. Alas, our out-of-town company were scandalized, so I was compelled to dust off the roasting pan and deal with necks and gizzards. Yuck.

I admire all of you adventurous cooks out there, but from a distance. And with zero longing.

In honor of the season, however, we are hosting a petit gathering on Sunday evening. Everyone is bringing something, but I am doing dessert, thanks to the inspiration of my neighbor Beth. She owns nearly every gizmo purveyed by Sur la Table, including mini-cheesecake pans. Seriously. She served up a herd of these babies at book club. I have read the recipe and believe that even I can make these. Or not, which is why white fudge Oreo cookies are my back up.

Here's Beth's recipe:

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes. 

Canned cherry pie filling
Lemon curd with blueberries or blueberry pie filling
Hot fudge with mixed nuts OR crushed peppermint candies (candy canes)
Orange marmalade with cranberry orange sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For a simple graham cracker crust:

1 C graham cracker crumbs
¼ C butter, melted
¼ C sugar 

Mix the crust ingredients together. Spray pan lightly with PAM and divide the mixture equally between cups and press down.
1         8oz. package cream cheese, softened (OR ricotta cheese)
¾ C  white sugar
2         tsp. vanilla
2         egg whites
¾ C  sour cream 

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add egg whites, mix well. Then add sour cream and mix thoroughly. Pour equally into cups , almost to the top.

Bake 20 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn off oven, leaving oven door open for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and refrigerate until chilled. When ready to serve, top each with a topping (or let guests fix their own).

I'm going to practice on Saturday. Charlie is an enthusiastic tester, so if quality is a problem, he will be mostly honest with me, I think.

Now, if I can just figure out where this whole project will go wrong, I'll be prepared with those cookies. And lots of champagne.

Naperville Now participates  each week in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Stop in and see what other bloggers are writing about the letter D.


Carol said...

I was lucky enough to sample Beth's and concur they were to die for. I have no doubt the white chocolate Oreos will not be put into service on Sunday. Have fun!

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

The cheesecakes look so scrumptious, but I am a big "no-no" baker as it always turn out wrong :-(

Beth said...

What? You know another Beth who owns every kitchen gadget (does she have a cherry pitter?)

Beth said...

Yes, I do have a cherry pitter! Sue, have fun making the cheesecakes; you'll do great!

Naperville Now said...

and the cuh-razy thing is that I have a cherry-pitter, too.

EG CameraGirl said...

The mini cheesecakes look delicious. Now, to find a neighbour with tiny cheesecake pans. :)

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful idea for the holidays ~ mini cheesecakes ~ reminds me of how 'in' cupcakes are ~ thanks for the recipe ~ Great post for D

( A Creative Harbor) aka artmusedog and Carol ^_^

Leovi said...

Deliciously rich ....

JDaniel4's Mom said...

These look yummy! I don't think I could have just one.

debra said...

It looks doable ! :)

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Good luck with the mini cheesecakes -- they look yummy!
I'm very lucky that my SIL sends ham and fixings for our Christmas dinner! Yahoo! Feeds everybody!

VBR said...

Those are certainly beautiful little cheesecakes. I am a total flop when it comes to baking. But, I have just the girl to give this recipe to. My son's sweetie can bake restaurant quality goodies! She'll love this!
Great post!

Pondside said...

I was lost at Mini Cheesecake Pans....so I guess this recipe will never be made at my house!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!

Splendid Little Stars said...

I'm betting on you to make these lovely cheesecakes!
Happy practicing!

Anonymous said...

Those toppings sound yummy!

Jenny said...

Delightfully delicious recipe!

These would be divine!

Perhaps with a cup of tea!


Thanks for sharing!