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February 11, 2015

Mini cheesecakes with graham cracker crust

Valentine's Day Recipes
Cheesecake Tom D'Intino/for PhillyVoice

These mini cheesecakes with graham cracker crust are simply delectable.

Makes 6

You will need: 

For Crust

1/2 cup ground graham crackers

2 TBS melted butter

2 pinches cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch salt

For Filling

4oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 TSP vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 TBS whole milk 

Garnish (Optional)

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup fresh strawberries

1/2 cup whipped cream

1 bar dark chocolate (shaved or zested)

Let's start with the crust. Crush 1/2 cup worth of graham crackers. If you do not have a food processor, place crackers in large zip lock bag and knead until they are ground. Place crackers in a mixing bowl and mix in cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add melted butter and mix until completely incorporated. Take a muffin baking tray and line with paper muffin liners.  Scoop 2 TBS of crust mix into each liner. Press down firmly and evenly. Place tray in fridge for 5 minutes. 

Cheesecakes can be intimidating to make, so if you go for the boxed brand we won't judge. There are so many different flavors and ways to make cheesecake. This is a basic recipe that will allow you to augment the flavors with your toppings and garnishes.  It also allows for more time for you and your partner to play with your food.  These mini-cheesecakes will need about 4-5 hours to cool and rest in the fridge so it would be ideal to do them earlier in the day or the night before. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and with a hand mixer begin to beat on a low to medium speed until smooth. Add milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Slowly incorporate sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs and continue mixing on a low to medium speed. Once everything is completely mixed, use a ladle to fill up muffin liners about 3/4 of the way up. Cook in oven for 20-25 minutes. To ensure they are completely cooked, stick a toothpick through the middle of one of the cakes. If the pick comes out clean they are ready. If not, give them another few minutes and pick them again. Remove tray from oven and let rest until completely cooled. Once cooled, wrap with Saran Wrap and place in refrigerator for 4 hours.  

Once cooled and set, remove cakes from liners and serve. They can be topped with almost anything. Fruits and/or fresh shaved dark chocolate are always great options. And don't forget the whipped cream.