Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mini Strawberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Yesterday I had a food bloggers melt down.

It happens occasionally. More often than I'd like to admit, actually. I mean, what else can you do when the project you've been working on since 8 that morning completely unravels at 5 pm, and you are home alone to react however you want to? 

You throw your temper tantrum. Then you move on with life.

All the yoga and mediation in the world has not changed the fact that I melt down when I'm pissed. Like, stomping my feet, yelling at a pastry bag full of pink frosting kind of anger. Sure, it's not the most mature reaction, but I factor in 2 points-

#1- I was home alone.

#2- I let it all out.

After I'd let all the anger and frustration out, my brain was clear of fog and ready to realize that I could simply go to the store in the morning, pick up more Red Velvet Oreos (part of the project) and try again tomorrow. 

What happened you ask? Here's the lowdown- I took the day yesterday to work on my Red Velvet Oreo Cupcakes. I was picturing half an Oreo as the "crust", a moist-chocolate cake studded with red Oreo crumbs in the middle, a white frosting with red crumbs in it, and garnished with half a Red Velvet Oreo. Let's just say this- the chocolate cake turned out dry and hockey puck-like, the frosting turned pink, and the frosting kept clogging the pastry bag. I was so angry after my 2nd try on the frosting that I threw everything in the garbage. 

I then promptly had my meltdown. 

I'm calm now friends. I've changed my idea of the cupcake, and I'm ready to try again today. No doubt all the snafus from yesterday will ensure the cupcake is top-notch. I think the most frustrating part (for me) was that I worked all day and had nothing to show for it. There's nothing I hate more than that.

Enough about yesterday's cupcake issues! Let's talk about these cheesecakes because there were no issues in the making of these. Plus, wouldn't these be a perfect Valentine's Day treat? I think so.

I actually made these little cheesecakes for a family baby shower, and they were a hit!

One of my favorite parts of these little cheesecakes is the fruit topping. You can make the fruit topping year round, because you can always use frozen fruit. Which is what I did for this batch. Simply bring frozen strawberries and a little sugar to a simmer, and then allow the heat to break the strawberries down.

Once the strawberries have broke down, press the strawberry mixture through a strainer to get rid of the seeds.

All you will be left with is glorious syrup. Glorious, glorious strawberry syrup.

You will have extra syrup after making this recipe. Have no fear, you can use this syrup for a ton of things! Some great and yummy ideas for leftover syrup include:

Ice cream topping
Pancake topping
French Toast topping
To flavor cocktails
To flavor lemonade
To flavor hot cereal, like oatmeal
Use in a marinade for meat (strawberry pairs really good with pork)
Bottle it and give it away as a homemade gift!

Now, the crust-

Yep, chocolate graham cracker crumbs. And butter. That's it. You could put the crackers in a ziplock bag and smash it, but I chose the food processor route this time. I did make a quadruple batch of these cheesecakes, after all!

I bought these cute little cupcake liners for my friend's baby girl, but they were the one thing I hated about the cheesecakes. I wish all cupcake liners didn't fade, but these did. Oh well, it's not all about the liner, is it?

I'll take one right now, please! Just kidding, these are looooooong gone :-)

Garnish your cheesecakes with a little mint and a few sliced strawberries, if desired. I garnished a few for pictures, but took them as-is to the baby shower. Trust me, people will love them either way.

Perfectly proportioned cheesecake :-)

All right, I'm headed to the store so I can get started on Round 2 of Red Velvet Oreo Cupcakes. Wish me luck! Have a great day everyone!

Recipe adapted from: Bella's Bistro

Ingredients (makes ~18):

Strawberry Syrup-
6 ounces strawberries, frozen or fresh
2 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup chocolate graham crackers, crushed
2-3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

1 lb cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temp


1. Preheat oven to 325º. Line 2 cupcake pans with liners, set aside.
2. Prepare syrup- in a small saucepan, combine strawberries and sugar. Stir over medium heat until strawberries begin to break down. Remove from heat, and press strawberries through a fine sieve, reserving juice. Discard solids, set reserved syrup aside to cool.
3. Prepare the crust- in a food processor, combine graham crackers, butter, and sugar. Pulse until well combined and crumbs begin to clump together. Press 1 tbsp of crumb mixture into the bottom of each liner. Bake in oven for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow crusts to cool while you prepare the filling.
4. Prepare the filling- in a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar and salt, beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Mix in eggs. 
5. Spoon 3 tbsp of cream cheese mixture into cupcake liners. Drop strawberry syrup on to top of cheesecake filling. Using a toothpick, swirl the strawberry syrup.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 11 minutes. Rotate pans. Bake for another 11 minutes. Remove from oven. Cheesecakes will be puffy, but they will sink as they cool. Allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Place pans in the fridge, and allow to chill for 4 hours. Remove from pans, and serve. Store leftover cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

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  1. Those look fabulous! Visiting from Foodie Friday. I think they would be perfect for the quilt club potluck!

    1. Thank you Carole! I've made these for a crowd, they go over well with the young and old alike :-)

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are having a great weekend!

  2. Yum yum yum! Thanks so much for sharing at #funtasticfriday !

  3. Yummy!! My family will love these {and so will I}. And I think we all appreciate your meltdown honesty! :)

    1. The older I get, the better I get with my temper. But oh boy, it gets me sometimes :-)

      Have a great weekend Becky!

  4. Delicious! Plus, they are so pretty! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinned and Tweeted.

    1. Thanks Beverly! It's always nice when a dessert turns out as pretty as you hoped!

      Hope you had a great weekend! :-)


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