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Monday, December 13, 2010

Headed to Arizona and Cheesecake

Tomorrow I am headed to Arizona to visit my best friend Jessica and meet her two month old son Noah. I am really excited and really worried since we were hit by a blizzard in the past two days. I'm flying out of Midway and flights were coming and going so I am hopeful. I don't even mind a delay as long as I can leave tomorrow. The weather there has been in the 70's. Yesterday during our blizzard it was 85. Heat wave here I come.

For the past few months I have been in a baking mood. Baking for me is a form of therapy. It makes me happy and I like to share my creations with others. If I didn't I would weigh much more than I do now. I didn't have to work yesterday due to our blizzard so I baked all day. I made three different cookies and peanut butter fudge. The recipes will be coming shortly, I just have to upload my pictures from the camera. A job for my husband. Instead I'll talk about cheesecake.

What's not to love about cheesecake? With plain you can dress it up with so many incredible toppings. But I'm not picky when it comes to cheesecake I love all variations. I adapted the cheesecake recipe below from Bakerella. I love her. She will not steer you wrong.

Mini Cheesecakes (made your way)
adapted from Bakerella
makes about 12 mini cheesecakes

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1 sleeve cinnamon graham crackers, processed in a food processor to make crumbs or place in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them
1 stick butter, melted

1. In a bowl mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter until moist.
2. Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper making sure to have excess paper to lift the cheesecake out of the pan.
3. Press crumb mixture into pan.


3, 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese, light works good if you are trying to cut back on calories and fat
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and flour until light and fluffy.
3. On low add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
4. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combines.
5. Pour over graham cracker crust and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
6. Remove from oven and cool.
7. Once cool lift cheesecake from pan using the parchment paper.
8. Using a medium size round cookie cutter or basic shape cut out mini cheesecakes and place each on a cupcake liner. Save the scraps to eat or eat as you cut. I won't tell.

For toppings anything goes: I used cherry pie filling, Hershey caramel kisses, and caramel ice cream topping. I left a few plain.

For my co-workers birthday I used three different sized round cookie cutters to create this three layer mini cherry cheesecake. To help hold the top layer to the middle layer I stuck a decorative toothpick in it. I think it turned out pretty cute.

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