The best present I got for Christmas last year was a membership to Sam's Club. Yes, I know -- Sam Walton was kind of a bully. Yes, I've seen Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price. Yes, it's weird that they make you flash your i.d. card at the door. Flaws and all, I like shopping at Sam's Club.
Thanks to my new love of bulk buying, I'm now in possession of a three-pound (count 'em, three) block of cream cheese. Philadelphia brand, of course. Which explains why I've been on a cheesecake kick as of late.
The first cheesecake project: raspberry mini cheesecakes from Cook's Country. These little delights are genius. Why? Because they're tasty. And because they're fast and easy. And tasty. Did I mention that?
I could eat cheesecake every day, but I'm not much on lining pans and setting up water baths and crushing graham crackers and baking forever and then waiting for the thing to cool in the oven. The trick with the mini cheesecakes is that they use whole butter cookies in place of crumb crusts (I told you, genius!) and they bake quick because they're small.
I also like the individual portions (no cutting) and the cupcake liners (no mess).
Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes (adapted from Cook's Country)
- 18 round shortbread cookies (like Keebler Sandies)
- 2/3 c. seedless raspberry jam
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large eggs
Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and condensed milk, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.
Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool tins on wire racks. Once cupcakes have reached room temperature, refrigerate about 1 hour.
Microwave remaining jam until thinned, about 30 seconds. Glaze the top of each cheesecake with jam and serve.
Makes 18 mini cheesecakes.
The food: Raspberry mini cheesecakes
The verdict: Mini cakes, mucho tastiness