Tag Archives: personal

Mini Cheesecakes with Home-made Graham Cracker Crust and Fresh Strawberry Sauce

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Mini Cheesecakes with Home-made Graham Cracker Crust and Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Whew, that title was a mouthful! In keeping with my apparent muffin pan theme lately…on to mini cheesecakes!  These were super simple to make.   Not having to mess with a springform pan was a treat! 🙂  The addition of lemon zest adds great fresh flavor, without being overwhelming.

I did double duty with this recipe and made Honey-Cinnamon Graham crackers to use as the base for the crust.  Another new one for me.  Who would have thought one could actually MAKE a graham cracker?!?

mini personal cheesecake with strawberry sauce

The Recipe (makes 12 mini cheesecakes):

Crust:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick butter)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (8 whole graham crackers) If you want to try homemade, find the recipe here

Cooking spray

Filling:

1 lemon

1 pound (two 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup heavy cream

Strawberry Sauce:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Move an oven rack to the center of the oven.

2.  Spray the muffin tin with the cooking spray, or grease with butter.

3.  Make the crust.  Put 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat and add the graham cracker crumbs.  Stir until they are completely moistened.

4.  Spoon the crumbs into the muffin cups, dividing equally.

5.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of each cup in an even layer.

6.  Make the filling.  Using a small grater or microplane, zest the lemon.  Make sure you don’t dig too deep and get that bitter white in there!

7.  Put the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in the mixer bowl.  Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth.

8.  Break the eggs into the bowl and beat again until blended.  Pour in the cream, vanilla and add the lemon zest.  Beat again until well blended.

9.  Pour or spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cups (I used my cookie scoop a little “overfilled” and it seemed to work perfectly).

10.  Bake until the centers are firm, about 18-20 minutes.  To test for doneness, gently shake the muffin tin, if the centers shake, bake for another 3-5 minutes.

11.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes.  After they cool, sprinkle the tops with a little additional sugar to prevent the cheesecakes from sticking.

12.  While the cakes are cooling, make the Strawberry Sauce.  Place the frozen strawberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan.  Cook over medium high heat and allow to boil for about 10 minutes.  It should start to thicken slightly.  Remove from heat and using a mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a small bowl.  Allow to cool.

13. Place a large platter over the top of the muffin tin and gently turn both upside down allowing the cheesecakes to drop onto the platter.

14.  Turn the cheesecakes over so the crust is on the bottom, and allow them to chill in the fridge before serving.

15.  Top with Strawberry Sauce if you choose (but why wouldn’t you?!?) 🙂  Serve and impress all your friends with your master baking skills!

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Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

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Mini Meatloaf (aka Meat Muffin, aka Meat Cupcake)

Call it what you will, but let’s be honest – it’s a meatball. 🙂  But a darn good meatball!  I followed the recipe almost to a “T”, and it turned out amazing.  The only suggestion I didn’t take was to turn the “meat muffin” upside down when serving so the bacon is on the bottom.  Who in their right mind would hide bacon?!?

*Pro Tip: Place your muffin tin in a dish with higher sides to catch the drippings.  I’ll be cleaning my oven if anyone needs me…sigh…

Personal Mini Meatloaf

The Recipe

2 Tablespoons butter (or cooking spray)

1 medium onion

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned)

1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon pepper

1 egg

Ketchup

3 slices of bacon, cut into thirds

The Process

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2.  Lightly butter a muffin tin (or spray lightly with cooking spray)

3.  Finely chop onion.

4.  Place meat in large working bowl.  Add in chopped onion, bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Break egg into bowl and mix all ingredients by hand until incorporated.

5.  Spoon 1 tablespoon of ketchup into each muffin tin (The recipe calls for 6 meat muffins, I ended up with 7).

6.  Divide the meat mixture evenly into muffin cups (the book kindly reminds us to wash our hands after this step, so don’t forget!)

7.  Place 1 strip of the cut bacon over each meatloaf.

8.  Place the muffin tin on your preferred baking dish (to catch drippings – don’t be like me!!)

9.  Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes.

10.  Remove from oven and serve bacon side up (don’t listen to them and hide the bacon!) Serve alongside your favorite veggies (we had some kale hanging around that was dying to be sauteed).