Mini Cheesecakes

Baking

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So the word got out at work that I like to bake…and I catered a Happy Hour! Every other Friday, we have a Happy Hour at work. A special treat is delivered from a nearby bakery, usually cupcakes, cookies, or the occasional cream puff. When I thought about what I could make for Happy Hour, I needed something that would be simple to make and could be easily transported. Since my Mom and I made mini Easter cheesecakes about a month earlier, I knew they would be the perfect treat!

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We made these cheesecakes (above) in mini muffin tins, where the recipe had called regular size cupcake/muffin tins. The grass is made from sweetened shredded coconut flakes dyed green with cadbury mini eggs on top.

This recipe yielded about 60 of these mini cheesecakes. I needed around 100 cheesecakes for the work Happy Hour so I went ahead and doubled this recipe, and it worked out perfectly!

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There was plenty of variety with 4 flavors: plain, strawberry, salted caramel, and lemon blueberry. I was very excited about the strawberry cheesecake because I had never made a strawberry sauce before, and it was so simple! I researched a few different recipes before deciding on this one. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice since I’d seen it in other recipes. I may have cooked it too long over the heat so I added a touch more water before putting it in the fridge to cool. When I took it out of the fridge to put on the cheesecakes, the sauce was still too thick, very jam-like. I added more water and put in the blender. At first I thought it was too foamy, and I had done something terribly wrong! But after topping some of the cheesecakes off with it and adding a strawberry slice for garnish, they looked beautiful, and the pesky foam bubbles disappeared. These turned out to be the biggest hit of the night, and there were none left!

I got the idea to make a salted caramel flavor from this kraft recipe. To be fully honest, salted caramel scares me. I’ve never understood it. And don’t get me wrong, I love caramel. I just don’t understand the salt part. And for that, I must apologize to my co-workers. The recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon of salt in the caramel sauce and more salt sprinkled on top. I couldn’t do it! I put 1/8 of a teaspoon in the sauce instead. And rather than use coarse salt flakes to sprinkle on top, I used rock salt…and it was too much salt. It gave the cheesecake an interesting crunch. The salt mostly dissolved into the caramel sauce by the time I served them. The caramel sauce was great on it’s own, and I don’t think the salt on top was necessary.

I was fine with these two flavors, and an original cheesecake, but my Mom came up with the brilliant idea of making a lemon blueberry flavor! We used about a teaspoon of lemon curd and topped it with a fresh blueberry from the Sonoma farmer’s market. This combination was a surprise hit! Well, not all that much of a surprise, since it is a classic flavor combination, but it complemented the cheesecake so well and tasted so light!

Everyone seemed to really enjoy them! And surprisingly the most left over flavor was all plain! I guess everyone got so excited about trying all these different flavors, that the plain was too boring in comparison.

I had so much fun catering this work Happy Hour! I loved coming up with what I would bake and then coming up with the different flavors that I thought everyone would enjoy. Now I just have to think about what I will bake for the next time!

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