Thursday, July 28, 2011

National Cheesecake Day-Woohoo!

Hi everyone!  I feel like with all the hullabaloo (that’s right…I said hullabaloo) surrounding the zombie post, since I can’t ever top that post…..I will just quit.  Nah, I’m kidding.  But please don’t ever expect me to do better than that post.  Let’s just keep our expectations low.  That’s what I usually do with myself.  And that is why all my report cards always said that I wasn’t “living up to my potential”;)  Again, I’m kidding.  I will keep trying to provide recipes that are quick, easy and at least 100,000,000 calories.
So about a week ago, my friend asked me what I planned on making for National Cheesecake Day, which is July 30th.  I said “cheesecake”.  Once the laughter died down (just mine-I don’t think she found me funny), I told her I would think of something!  Later that day, I was at Baskin Robbins with my kids, trying to gain even more weight, and I tried their new flavor….Pink Lemonade.  I decided right then and there that everything should be pink lemonade flavored.  Everything.  It is so sweet, tangy and refreshing all at the same time.  Pink Lemonade is a staple of summer.  I pretty much knew that it would rock in cheesecake form.
So now I had my flavor, but I still didn’t have my motivation.  Making a crust requires getting out the food processor, patting it into a pan, etc.  Need I remind you that I am lazy?  Instead I decided to make individual cheesecakes in a muffin tin, using Nilla wafers, in their true form, as a crust.  They turned out great!  And seriously easy.
To make these little babies, I used Nilla Wafers, cream cheese, pink lemonade concentrate, eggs, sugar and I had some cute little jelly candies for the tops.
I chose frozen juice concentrate because it has a super concentrated sweet and sour flavor.  Concentrated….hence the name.  You will have a lot left….try mixing the remaining concentrate with ginger ale for a yummy mocktail!!  Or vodka if you ain't playin’.
You can use low fat cream cheese, aka Neufchatel.  See that, food police?  Occasionally I try to save some calories;)
Don’t use fat-free though.  That is just gross.
I plopped one Nilla wafer down into the center of each cupcake/muffin paper liner.  They don’t quite fill up the whole bottom, but that is no big deal.  It still works.
To make the filling, I put the softened cream cheese, sugar and juice concentrate into a large mixing bowl.  I beat this until it is blended.  You really don’t want to overbeat your cheesecake.  If you incorporate too much air, your cake will collapse when you take it out of the oven.
I also beat the eggs in, one at a time.  Want to know a secret?  I also put in one drop of red food coloring just to make sure that I got a pretty pink color.
I filled each paper liner with a couple of tablespoons of filling.  Do not overfill….this can lead to cake collapse too.  They are ready to bake!  Did you know that making cheesecake was so easy?  I think it gets a bad rap….people always think it is super hard to make.  There is no need to buy a no-bake boxed mix.  This is just as easy.
These are a pretty quick bake since they are so small.  Once they come out of the oven, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Then, pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours.  The liners should peel off easily.
Ta-da!  So adorable!  They are such a refreshing treat in the middle of summer.  Cheesecake can get pretty heavy and rich, but these aren’t.  They are light and fluffy!
I think they are super cute topped with the jelly candies, but of course, those are optional.  A sprinkle of powdered sugar would be good too.
I feel like I have done a ton of desserts lately.  I know you are probably as sick of it as I am.  I will try to stay away from anything sweet next week.  As always, if you make this recipe….post a pic on my FB page!
Pink Lemonade Cheesecakes
24 Nilla Wafers
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
¾ cup Pink Lemonade Frozen Concentrate
4 eggs
Jelly candies for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Place liners into muffin tins, about 24 liners. 
Place one Nilla Wafer into the center of each paper liner. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and juice concentrate with a hand mixer, just until mixed.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Fill paper liners with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 to 24 minutes, or until cakes are “set”.  Let cakes sit at room temp for about 30 minutes, then chill for at least 2 hours.  Top with jelly candies.

1 comment:

  1. I love cooking and by far this is the best cooking site I have ever seen. Stuff right up my alley! I found out about you from Claycord.com and basically spent all night yesterday reading your blog. I am going to Clayton tomorrow to buy some of your sauces.

    Annie in Concord