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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mini Cheesecake Dessert Shots

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist
Hobby Farms Contributors

Serve no-bake mini cheesecake dessert shots at your next party for a treat that's small but satisfying. Photo by John D. Ivanko (HobbyFarms.com)
Photo by John D. Ivanko
Serve no-bake mini cheesecake dessert shots at your next party for a treat that's small but satisfying.

“This is the perfect diet food,” proclaimed our 11-year-old son, Liam, when he very willingly tested this Mini Cheesecake Dessert Shot recipe for us. “It’s small and full of flavor and looks like a whole dessert even though it is just one bite.”

Flavorful, bite-sized portions that look temptingly cute, like the mini pies we made back in the fall, might be the rationale for the current “mini food craze,” but who can eat just one? Served in shot glasses, Liam’s cheesecake desserts are made for a crowd, where folks can admire your work of art and compliment you profusely as they come back for seconds and thirds.

Think of thr recipe below as a starting point, a palette for your own kitchen creativity. Here are things to think about before making these mini desserts:

  • Your final serving numbers will vary on the size of your glasses. The smaller the glass, the more servings you get. We had an assorted collection of shot and cordial glasses that gave us about 38 servings. For larger, full-sized servings, layer the filling in glass punch-bowl cups, champagne flutes or wine glasses.

  • Assemble the shots no more than two hours before serving so they look fresh and appealing.

  • We used blueberries and raspberries for a fruit-inspired cheesecake, but you can use any kind of toppings. Our next batch will use up some leftover Halloween candy with chopped peanut butter cups and other candy bar pieces. Part of the fun of these mini desserts is having various flavors so guests can sample different kinds. Because each is only one bite, the flavor should be strong and satisfying.

  • Layer this no-bake cheesecake filling in any type of glass—just make sure the glass opening is big enough for your spoon. Motivated eaters will not find spoon size a problem. When we first made Mini Cheesecake Dessert Shots, some of our shot glasses were too small for a spoon, but our ingenious guests simply flipped the spoon over and used the end—or even a finger—to dig out the goodies. The real smart guests then poured in some of our homemade Irish cream to really clean out the glass out and enjoy every last morsel.

  • Presentation adds a dramatic flair to this dish. Don’t worry if your glasses don’t all match; some variation and different height add visual interest. Serve on a silver tray, mirror or on a raised, glass cake stand.

Recipe: Mini Cheesecake Dessert Shot

Yield: Serving number will vary depending on glass size.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Fruit Topping

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix graham crackers, brown sugar and butter until well-blended and mixture clumps together. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool and crumble.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until soft. Separately, whip whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently blend whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

To assemble, add hearty teaspoon of cheesecake filling to serving glass, layer with teaspoon of graham-cracker-crust mixture, and top with another hearty teaspoon of cheesecake filling. (Amounts will vary depending on serving glass size.) Top with fruit or other topping.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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