Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mini {cleaned up} Cheesecakes

I do love cheesecakes (they are one of my all time favorites!), but I rarely eat them because they are full of fat and leave my stomach in pain from the dairy. However, sometimes it's worth the pain.

We were having my husband's family over to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday and cheesecake is her favorite dessert. I thought this would be a great opportunity challenge to make a {cleaned} up version of cheesecake. Making them individually, like I did for this recipe, will helps keep portion controls in check.  

This recipe is not low fat but just ONE of these little cheesecakes was very rich and rewarding. It was so rich even that I will try to make it with less fat next time and post the results. This recipe is free of artificial colors, preservatives, and white table sugar. 

Mini {cleaned up} Cheesecakes

This recipe was adapted from
  • 1 cup {all natural} graham crackers crumbs (I used Mi-Del)
  • 1 Tbps {all natural} cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbps {organic} unsalted butter
  • 2-3 Tbps {all natural} apple juice
  • 1 package(8 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 package(8 oz) full fat cream cheese (room temp)
  • 2/3 cup {all natural} cane sugar (I use super fine)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large {cage free/organic} eggs (room temp)
  • 1 tsp {pure} vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup {low fat} sour cream (room temp)

1)  Preheat oven to 300 degrees and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

2)  In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, cane sugar, melted butter, and apple juice. Press a heaping tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the 12 muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

3)  In a bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed with blender until creamy and smooth. Add the cane sugar and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 muffin cups. 

4)  Bake for about 18 -22 minutes or until firm but the centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (a few hours or even overnight).

NOTE:  To serve, gently peel off the paper liners and place on your serving plate. Serve with {all natural} strawberry sauce, fresh berries, or drizzle with melted dark chocolate. These cheesecakes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days. (I drizzled ours with dark chocolate and returned them to the fridge before serving)

Makes 12 individual cheesecakes. 


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