“THE ONLY WAY CHEESE IS DESSERT IS WHEN IT IS FOLLOWED BY THE WORD CAKE.” Michele Gorman.
If it were up to me, every meal of the day would be followed by dessert!
Now having said that, sometimes you just want a smaller bite. These little strawberry cheesecake cupcakes are just that. Fresh strawberry puree is swirled into sweet, vanilla cheesecake batter and baked on top of a chocolate cookie crust flavored with a slight hint of cinnamon.
I love cheesecake desserts in just about any form. Take these little cheesecakes out of their papers and plate them with some extra puree and a little whipped cream for a more elegant dessert. Pack one in your lunch bag for an extra special pick me up in the middle of the day. But they are a perfect size with a cup of tea or coffee for those mornings when you just have to have dessert for breakfast!
You can absolutely vary these in any way you’d like. Puree raspberries or blackberries or any fruit you’d like. Add almond instead of vanilla, or any variety of spices to the cheesecake. And grind any cookie of your heart’s desire for the crust. Adapt to seasonal fruits and flavors. Or get crazy in your combinations!
Swirl them any way you’d like.
Or follow your heart!
These are sweet and simple. And so easy to make!
YIELDS: 18 sweet little bitty cheesecakes
For the Strawberry Puree:
- 8 ounces of strawberries, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
For the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
- 24 chocolate wafer cookies (I used Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
- 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
- 5 Tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
For the Vanilla Cheesecake Filling:
- 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- Prepare the strawberry puree. Simply place the strawberries and sugar in a blender. Liquify and then strain the mix through a fine mesh sieve. You could also add a splash of framboise liqueur to taste.
- Next, the chocolate cookie crust. Place the cookies and the brown sugar in the working bowl of your food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a large bowl. Whisk in the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add the melted butter and use a fork to bring the mixture together. Press a Tablespoon of the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of each cupcake paper. Bake for 5 minutes until the crust is set and set the cups aside to cool.
- Finally, prepare the cheesecake filling. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium high, blend the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
- Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream.
- Add each egg, one at a time, being sure the egg is incorporated before adding the next.
- Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract and blend until all is combined.
- So now, place 3 Tablespoons of cheesecake batter into your cookie crust line cups. Add as many droplets of strawberry puree on top of the cheesecake batter to achieve the look you want for your cheesecake. I added 4 or 5 drops and used a toothpick to swirl the puree through the batter. You can also add 1 drop and pull a toothpick from the top through the droplet to achieve a heart.
- Place your cupcake tins in a roasting pan and place it on the rack of your oven. Fill the pan with hot water until it rises to halfway up the sides of the cupcake pan. Bake the cheesecakes for about 25-30 minutes, until set.
- Carefully remove the pans from the hot water and set on a wire rack to cool. Then refrigerate the cheesecakes in your cupcake tins, uncovered, for about 4 hours or overnight.
In the mood for more cheesecake desserts? Try these: