Wednesday, March 7, 2012

fast and yummy

I am a cheesecake fanatic! I have been known to poke s person with my fork (only grown up persons...and gently!) if they try to sneak a bite of my favorite yummy off my plate. I even once sat and ate an entire cheesecake by my self; I know SCANDALOUS! Even more exciting, I have passed my cheesecake love gene onto my 7 year old son...the baby is still on the fence about where his taste buds lie in this department but since he is sooo darn cute, it's ok. My love for cheesecake is often thwarted by the amount of time it takes to make this delectable make a real, awesome, yummy, fantastic, New York style cake (like the Cake from my oldest boys 7th the post Birthdays, Birthdays, and More Birthdays!) can take upwards of 6 hours. But never fear I have found the answer in these palm sized pieces of heaven! No longer will I stare longingly at my cheescake recipe knowing I can not devote the time to fulfill my sweet tooth. Now the problem will be remembering to use moderation in how many times in a month I will make these babies and how many different variations I will try. Cheesecake is so accomodating like that!

Mini Cheesecakes
1 cup Cracker Rounds (kinda like ritz crackers but way less disgusting!); I got mine from Trader Joe's
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1-2 tablespoons agave syrup
8 ounces cream cheese; softened (I let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes)
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice or palm sugar (or other natural sugar product)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a muffin pan, line the cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, crush the crackers into crumbs and then mix in the brown sugar. Mix in the melted butter and the agave until the crumb crust takes on a slightly tacky consistency. Place two tablespoons of the crust mixture into each cup and press down evenly.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth (I did this by hand with a fork, but for a less lumpy consistency use a hand mixer). Pour the filling onto the crumb crust until the cups are nearly full. If there are any empty cups in the cupcake tin place a small amount of water into each to keep them from scorching. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheesecakes are firm (you can check this by poking a toothpick into the center ; if it comes back clean than the cakes are finished). Take the cheesecakes out of the cupcake pan and let sit to cool. Simple and delicious; Enjoy!

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