Raspberry Swirl Mini Cheesecake Cups

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INGREDIENTS

Crust
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 sheets)
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
pinch salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Raspberry Puree
3 oz fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar

Cheesecake
1 lb (2-8 oz packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  (I like to use a small drinking glass to easily and evenly press the crumbs down.  One of Andrew’s sippy cups works wonderfully.) Bake until just set, 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

For  the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy.  Blend in the sugar until smooth.  Mix in the salt and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner.  Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

Bake until the filling is set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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