by Kelley Redmon
I was on a mission this past weekend. I was trying to avoid joining in on house cleaning by baking multitude of treats (yes, I made a mess while everyone else was cleaning). As you can tell I was also baking Red Velvet Cupcakes (recipe coming soon) and managed to drip red food coloring all over the cheesecake…. oops. It still tasted delightful!
In my house I am the baker and my boyfriend is the cook…. unless it is cheesecake. He has it down to a science, and I try not to disturb the balance in the force by ever making cheesecake. This weekend since I wanted to make mini cheesecakes bites and he was busy playing with the steam cleaner I opted to finally try it for myself, and I found it a successful endeavor (meaning, the cheesecake didn’t crack!).
For the Cheesecake
3 packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4/ cup of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Crust
1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbles (I just buy the crumb box, rather than battle it our with crushing down full size crackers… the crumbs are much more consistent)
1/4 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons of butter – melted
For the Crust
1. Pre-Heat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Melt the butter (on the stove top or about 30-60 seconds in the microwave).
3. Mix all the ingredients together until all the graham crumbles are saturated.
4. Press into the pan (I was making mini cheesecakes too, so I put about a tablespoon in each cup).
5. Bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees. This is optional. I baked the mini cheesecake bites, but not the big cheesecake and I didn’t notice a difference.
4. Put in the 275 degree oven. for 30 minutes (I did the cheesecake bites and the big cheesecake separately)
5. After 30 minutes turn off the oven and let sit in the over for 15 minutes
6. After 15 minutes open the door of the oven and let sit in the oven until completely cool. This gradual cool down process is what helps the cheesecake not crack. Do not refrigerate until the cheesecake is COMPLETELY COOL.
TIP: In order to get the cheesecake bites out of the mini muffin tin I found it easiest to use a butter knife to jimmy around the edges and pop them out. It was easiest when they had been in the fridge for about 15 minutes. If they were too cold the crust started to fall apart (my guess is that the butter in the crust helped it a little to slide out).
Please ignore my red food dye drops as they were for a good cause, because after I made my cheesecake bites I put them inside my red velvet cupcakes…. yes you heard right RED VELVET CHEESECAKE STUFFED CUPCAKES…. recipe to come!