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Monday, January 23, 2012

Mini Cheesecakes and a Guest Post from The Orange Bee




One of the best things about blogging is the people that you meet, and I have so enjoyed getting to know Linda at The Orange Bee over the past year.  Even though we live in separate parts of the country, we have had a great time swapping blogging tips and chatting about food and life as we figured out this whole new world of food blogging.  Not only is Linda a talented cook with many, many mouth-watering recipes on her blog, but she also happens to be a beekeeper!  How cool is that? She entertains us all with anecdotes and educational tips about life at the hive.  If you've never visited Linda's blog, you are in for a treat, so go over and check it out here.


Linda was so kind to write a guest post for me while I'm away this week and I am excited to have her here to share one of her delicious recipes with us.  These mini cheesecakes look incredible! 



The Orange Bee Bakes

What a joy and an honor to find myself writing a guest post for Ryan the delightful hostess at “Ryan Bakes”.  She is tough competition in the baking department as I’m sure you, her faithful followers can attest to.  Somehow it just didn’t seem right to blog about anything other than something baked. 

I've had these cute cupcake liners for a couple of months now but found not a single use for them during the holidays.  Orange is my favorite color and I thought what better time to celebrate and use these colorful liners than for my guest post. 

I decided to make mini cheesecakes.  After the holiday food frenzy it seems just a bite or two of something sweet is fitting.   Cheesecake is a favorite dessert in my kitchen.  There are so many delicious flavors that work with a basic cheesecake.  Chocolate, orange, pumpkin, peppermint, coffee, lemon….the possibilities are limitless.  A variety of toppings often complete this creamy dessert. 

When baking a cheesecake I always use the Neufchatel cheese to reduce the calories and fat. To tell you the truth not one family member or guest has ever complained about the use of the lower fat variety of cream cheese.  I've made cheesecakes with toppings and without.  A time or two I’ve even topped my cake with that canned cherry pie filling.  It’s very colorful and festive around holidays where “red” is a focal color. 

I’ll tell you an amusing little ditty about a cheesecake topped with that pie filling.  I’ve submitted numerous photos to those sites like “Foodgawker” and the only photo they have ever accepted is one of a cheesecake I made for my daughter’s birthday, topped with that gooey stuff.  When I think of all the beautiful, natural foods I’ve prepared, photographed and submitted that were denied, only to be beaten out by a cheesecake topped with canned pie filling!  It’s a good laugh for sure. 

These mini cheesecake gems are perfect for a bridal shower, to serve at a luncheon or to have on hand for a few bites of something sweet.  I like the fresh fruit topping and the color it adds to these mini cheesecakes.  The filling itself is simple; cream cheese with a bit of lemon zest, lemon juice and a touch of vanilla.  Plain and simple deliciousness.

I thank you, Ryan for the opportunity to reach new readers and share some yummy little bites with you, the reader.

Enjoy!

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients:
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter, melted

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Fresh fruit of your choice

Combine crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press a rounded measuring tablespoon of crumb mixture into the bottom of each of six paper-lined muffin cups.  Bake at 325*F. for 5 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, juice, zest and vanilla, mixing at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended.  Blend in egg, pour over crusts; filling each cup ¾ full.  Bake at 325*F for 25 minutes.  Cool before removing from pan.  When cool, top with fruit pieces. 

Tip:
To make ahead, wrap each individual cheesecake in plastic wrap and freeze.  Let stand at room temperature for about 40 minutes before serving and top with fruit just before serving. 










9 comments:

  1. Hi Linda, these little cheesecakes are so cute and I like the lower fat idea. I just wish we could get graham crackers in Australia. I *can* get them when the USA foods store has them in stock but that's only a couple of times a year. Miss it and you have a long wait. :)

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  2. Since our family is small, it is best to have individual servings rather than one big cake. I do like how you did the portions in the little cups. Also, citrus in a cheesecake always is a welcome dessert. Glad to pop in a see this guest post. Delicious.

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  3. Perfect dessert - so nice to indulge but not go over the top!
    mary x

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  4. What a great idea! And, I love those cupcake papers.

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  5. No one can resist a tiny cheesecake! These look great.
    And I totally hear you about FoodGawker - go figure!

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  6. Thanks from the Orange Bee for all your lovely comments! Maureen, you could make the crust with vanilla wafers or chocolate cookies! Tina, British Mum and Cher tiny, mini and perfect! Yummy - I want these papers in other colors - I'm on the lookout.

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  7. Great post! It's always nice to meet new bloggers!

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  8. Those look wonderful and I love the recipe too. Best guest blogger ever!

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  9. Cassie - another baker! Nice to meet you. Rufus - you're so kind - that comment made me a happy bee!

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