Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mini Cheesecakes

In a few weeks, I'll be celebrating my 33rd birthday (really, mid-thirties?!) with a big fancy cocktail party. It's actually a joint birthday with a few other January-born friends, and it's going to be awesome. Black tie attire, fancy drinks and food, the whole nine yards.

I'm already dreaming up a menu of appetizers, finger foods, and small-bite desserts. Mini cheesecakes seem like a good addition, no? They are easy to make, but are higher on the classy dessert spectrum than, say, cookies. Baked in mini-muffin tins, these little morsels have a buttery graham cracker crust topped with a straightforward cheesecake.

One of my favorite versions of mini cheesecakes is topped with lilikoi butter. Lilikoi (Hawaiian for passionfruit) butter is similar to lemon curd, and can be found in grocery stores in Hawaii. We often bring a jar or two back when we travel to the islands. If lilikoi butter can't be come upon, however, another topping can be used. Fresh berries, fruit preserves, etc.

Okay, now I've talked myself into making these for the party. Any other cocktail party food suggestions? I'm all ears.

Mini Cheesecakes

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Topping of choice: lilikoi butter, lemon curd, fresh fruit, fruit preserves, etc.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. 

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and butter; press into bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Pour over crusts. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Can be stored in fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for 3 months. To serve, add choice topping, and serve cold.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be thirty three in August - that's NOT mid-thirties is it?! Surely not. Happy new year :)