I think that minifying improves almost any dessert. It lets you eat a bunch more than you normally would without feeling guilty.
Mini versions are also better for entertaining. A platter of mini cheesecake bites are much easier for guests to eat than cutting slices of a whole cheesecake. You don't have to worry about splitting the dessert into small enough pieces so that everyone can try it - you can just double the number of mini cheesecakes that you make.
I found this recipe for mini cheesecakes on La Receta de la Felicidad. There are a ton of great dessert ideas on that site (all of which look super impressive when they're done). Check it out!
- 1 lb cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pint sour cream
- zest from 1 lemon
- vanilla extract
- 24 cookie bowls (see below for recipe)
Idea adapted from La Receta de la Felicidad
Cheesecake recipe adapted from here
Yields roughly 24 mini cheesecakes
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed without lumps.
Separate about 1/3 cup of the mixture in a small mixing bowl. Add red food coloring and stir until you reach the desired shade of red.
Spoon white cheesecake mixture and red mixtures in separate frosting piping bags. I'm a big fan of using bottles like these, since they let you switch frosting tips easily. Fill a cookie bowl almost to the top with the white cheesecake mixture.
Pipe a circle in the very middle of the filled cookie bowl using the red mixture. The goal is to have a completely round circle that is roughly 2/3-3/4 the diameter of the bowl.
Use a chopstick and/or toothpick to shape the heart. This is very much like decorating a cookie using royal icing. You want to drag the chopstick from the white part of the cheesecake through the top of the red circle, and from the bottom of the red circle into the white mixture. I recommend wiping off the chopstick/toothpick after each movement to avoid mixing the colors. Repeat for the rest of the cookie bowls.
Place the cookie bowls onto a baking sheet and place them in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes (I had to bake them in a few batches). The cheesecakes are done when they don't jiggle when you move the baking sheet. Let the cheesecakes cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
I adapted this recipe from Wilton:
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
You will also need to use a mini muffin/cupcake baking pan (like this one).
Step 1: Prep
Preheat oven to 350°F. I did not spray the outside of the muffin pan with non-stick spray, since it makes the cookie bowls slide down the sides before they set.
Step 2: Combine ingredients
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. In an electric mixer (or by hand), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy (medium speed for 2-3 minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.
Step 3: Cutting out bowls
Roll out dough onto a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut 4-1/2 in. diameter circles from dough. Gently place the circles onto the back of the mini muffin pan (I skipped every other space so that the cookie bowl would touch each other while baking). Press the sides in very slightly towards the sides of the pan.
Step 4: Baking
Bake 11-13 minutes or until cookie cups are firm and slightly brown. Cool the bowls on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. To remove the cookies from the pan, loosen the edges of the bowls with a small spatula or a thin knife. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely. Wash and dry the pan completely before repeating with remaining dough.