life is sweet

food detective

Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Well Equipped, Posted on June 9, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten

Many of you will be reading this on June 13th, the day my bi-monthly email blast goes out and wonder what the heck is she doing making cheesecake when her daughter is getting married in three days!

I assure you I didn’t wake up at 5 AM to make these little bites. I made them the week before. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of the ways I unwind. I like to tinker with recipes. And with a wedding rapidly approaching it’s always a good idea to take a beat to clear one’s mind.

Another way I relax is reading recipes. I rip them out of magazines. Copy them off of boxes. Download from online. And I don’t know about you, but rarely at first glance does a recipe make perfect sense, and often if I follow the recipe just as it is printed it seldom comes out the way I would like. Hence the tinkering.

Last Sunday as my sweet daughter and I were on the phone finalizing the table seating I opened a cupboard and found my mini muffin tins. As I started clanking away my daughter asked what I was up to. I replied that I wanted to reinvent a miniature version of a Mexican chili soufflé and some bite-sized lemon cheesecakes from an old cookbook I had discovered. She went on to run some errands in LA and continued to destroy my kitchen in Ohio.

A few hours later she called back. The tables fell into perfect place. But she what she really wanted to know was how the soufflés and cakes turned out. The soufflés were a bit of a bust, another day I will have to go back to the drawing board on that one. But the cheesecakes were amazing. And the best part is that cheesecake freezes wonderfully. Making these lemon cheesecake bites the perfect do-ahead dessert.

This recipe is a breeze to execute if you have everything measured out in advance. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, go onto Amazon and get one. It really is an essential tool that you will use over and over.

Simply place a container on top of the scale, press the on button to calibrate the current weight to zero, then add your ingredients. Baking is all about precise measurements. That’s probably why I’m not very good at it. I have a tendency to eyeball and wing things. A weight is always more exact than a volume measurement.

Divide the shortbread cookies.

Pulse 2 ½ ounces of the shortbread cookies in a food processor until finely crushed.

Spoon into a small bowl, mix in one tablespoon of sugar, then the one tablespoon of melted butter.

Press one teaspoon of the prepared crumbs into 24 paper lined mini muffin tins.

Melt one ounce of white chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power for 1-2 minutes, until just melted.

Beat the soften cream cheese, vanilla and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl with a mixer until well blended.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and melted white chocolate, mix well. Add the egg and beat on low until just incorporated.

Spoon a tablespoon of the batter over the pressed crusts.

Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 12-20 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Meanwhile coarsely chop the remaining cookies with a knife (note you will most likely not need them all).

Sprinkle some of the chopped cookies on top of the cooled cheesecakes.

Melt the remaining one ounce of white chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power for 1-2 minutes, until just melted. Put the melted chocolate into a small Ziploc bag and cut a small snip into one of the corners. Drizzle chocolate over the cookie topped cheese cakes.

Place in the refrigerator uncovered until completely set. When the chocolate is firm carefully pop out of the muffin tins with the tip of a paring knife, then place the mini cheesecakes in Ziploc bags and freeze for up to two months. To serve carefully remove the paper liner. Place on a decorative plate with raspberries.

This recipe came from something old, was reinvented to become something new, feel free to borrow it, then pop one in your mouth anytime you’re feeling blue. 

post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.