We were invited to our neighbor's house for Sunday dinner and I wanted to make a dessert to feed a crowd. I was originally going to make my famous New York style cheesecake with a fresh blueberry sauce, but my cheesecake pan is missing the bottom part. It's missing because I accidentally slid it off the glass plate holding the leftover Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake right into the trash can, and the trash was picked up before I realized it was missing.
I searched the web for cheesecake bars and came across some recipes for cheesecake cupcakes. These would be perfect because they are individual portions, easy to serve and easy to eat.
I made a plain cheesecake batter using fresh lemon zest and Mexican vanilla. I made a cinnamon graham cracker crust in the bottom of cupcake liners, and poured the batter on top. Then I pushed some blueberries into each one and baked them just until set. I also made a homemade blueberry sauce to top them before refrigerating overnight to set up. I made some plain cheesecakes for my hubby because I'm a very considerate and thoughtful wife. He said "uuuummm, these are good!"
I had some leftover batter since it makes 32 cupcakes, and I only have 24 cupcake tin spaces. I made 24 mini cheesecake bites using my mini muffin pan with mini liners and without the crust. These baked for about 8 minutes, just until set. Then, I topped each one with some of that homemade blueberry sauce and refrigerated them overnight as well. My kids really loved these and are taking some to school to share with their best friends at lunch.
1 1/2 cups crushed honey graham crackers
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
3 T sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners (makes 32). In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar using a fork. Press 1 T mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner (I used more) and press firmly to pack (I used a shot glass and was able to push some of the mixture up the sides). Bake for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack until ready to fill.
2 lbs (4-8oz bars) cream cheese, room temperature
Note: I used 2 bars regular cream cheese and 2 bars 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
zest from 1 lemon
In a large stand mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides and beat until creamy and lump free. Add the lemon zest and mix to combine.
Spoon cheesecake batter into each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full. Scatter 5-6 fresh blueberries into each one and press down into batter.
Bake for 22 minutes, or until set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack until room temperature.
Fresh Blueberry Sauce:
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water, divided
2 T corn starch
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir together 1/4 cup water and corn starch in a small cup. Add to the pan and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and let sit until ready to top cheesecakes.
To finish the cheesecakes, top each one with 1 T blueberry sauce. Transfer cheesecake cupcakes to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (I prefer refrigerate overnight as they set up better and are cool throughout). Enjoy!
Adapted from Annie's Eats (from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes)