Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

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Let’s talk about Kid Cudi’s song “Pursuit of Happiness” for just a second.

That song is doing something right. It’s got feels. It’s got soul. It’s got MGMT/RATATAT. It’s infectious and entertaining. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t agree on all these things (including those who claim themselves to be anti-rap…pshh). Maybe I’m overstepping my bounds by lavishing such praise, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

But I don’t suggest you ‘do your thing’ by driving drunk. Kid Cudi had it wrong there, let’s be clear. Keep it safe. Keep it real.

In unrelated news, here are three headliners/advertisements that my eyes glanced over while passing a copy of the newspaper today:

“It’s the age of less leverage” (Kid Cudi don’t care)

“Where can you take your mom to resolve her pain and improve her life?” (Disney is probably the answer)

and:

“BARBER RETIRES” (big deal, there are so many more barbers out there willing to cut your hair, gentlemen)

Back to this recipe. In the words of Kid Cudi (again, sorry), Imma do just what I want and make these mini strawberry cheesecakes. I’m on a strawberry kick/high ya’ll, and it won’t stop until I run out of strawberries. Which will be soon.

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The best part about these little guys is you don’t have to bake them! (minus the crust, but only for a little)

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Mini cheesecakes need a mini crust, doi. So into a food processor go graham crackers, sugar, and cold unsalted butter. Pulse this up real quick like.

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Beautiful buttery crumbs are pressed into cupcake liners and baked for 6-8 minutes. Just enough for the butter to melt and crusts to become fragrant.

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Graham crackers feel like a lost cookie to me. Does anyone over the age of 7 just eat these for a snack? Let’s bring back the age of the graham cracker, and destroy the age of less leverage.

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The cream cheese is beaten in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamy. Strawberry jam, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract are added to that. On the side is some pre-whipped heavy whipping cream (not pictured) and diced strawberries, which are folded in until your strawberry mixture is light and fluffy.

These are nothing short of strawberry delight. (btw- those strawberries topping the cheesecakes above….those are freezer frosty, have no fear. I was in a rush to set them up for a birthday celebration. First world baker problems).

Maybe make these for your mom?? I find that moms love them. Moms also love hugs, foot massages, and phone calls.

So keep calm and love your mom.

MINI STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKES

recipe from shutterbean.com

Makes 15 mini strawberry cheesecakes

FOR THE CRUST:

1 1/2 cups graham crackers (from about 10-12 cookies)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks

FOR THE FILLING:

1 package cream cheese (8 0z) at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup cold heavy cream

6 heaping tablespoons strawberry jam

6-8 strawberries, cut into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 15 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. in a food processor, pulse together graham crackers and sugar until course crumbs. Now add butter and salt all at once, pulsing until just combined. Divide crumb mixture into cupcake liners, pressing down with your fingers to make mini crusts. You very well may not need all the graham cracker crumbs. Bake until crusts are fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool while making the filling.

For the filling, In a medium bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, strawberry jam, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.

In another medium bowl, with clean beaters, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold the whip cream into the strawberry cream cheese mixture 1/3 at a time. Be patient, fold slowly. It will keep the mixture at its fluffiest.

Then carefully fold in the cut up strawberries. Divide mixture among the cool crusts and refrigerate until set, 8-12 hours or overnight, ideally. If you’re in a pinch, you can also freeze these for about 2 hours before taking them to your party/picnic/celebration of your mom! Top with a sliced strawberry before serving for a pretty final touch.

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