Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers.
Peace, Love, and Blessings to all of you and a Happy New Year for 2014.
I know this is a bit late to plan for baking for Christmas so I apologize as I have been running around like crazy this week; but keep it in mind for Valentines Day; just plan to change up the sprinkles to something appropriate.
Red Velvet Mini Cheesecakes
yield: ~ 19 individual cheesecakes
1 Cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
20 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup natural (such as Hershey’s) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 oz. red liquid food coloring (such as McCormick) (one small McCormick bottle is 1 oz.)
3 lg. eggs, room temp
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare mini cheesecake pan(s) or standard size muffin pans with paper liners. Spray the mini cheesecake pan with non stick baking spray or alternatively spray the paper liners.
2. Mix the chocolate crumbs and melted butter together and press 1 Tbsp. into the well of each cup. Press firmly to the bottom. NO NEED TO PRE BAKE! Set aside while making the batter.
3. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add the cocoa and beat until combined. Add in the vanilla and red food coloring until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and stop often to scrape bottom and sides of mixer bowl. Combine until smooth. Pour batter into a glass measuring cup to make filling easier. Fill each well almost to the top. Use a bamboo skewer or toothpick to pop any visible air bubbles.
4. Bake at 375° F for 15-20 mins. or until tops of cheesecake no longer look shiny. Bake only one pan at a time. [remaining cheesecake batter filled pans will be fine to sit while first batch is baking]. Note; baking time is only a guideline; make sure to check cheesecakes as pan sizes vary. Remove pan to cool over wire rack. Once cool, place in fridge to cool completely.
5. To serve; top with whipped cream and crushed pieces of candy cane.
6. Note; this recipe also works well as half a recipe (to yield 9 cheesecakes). Divide recipe by half, and regarding the eggs; just weigh the egg portion and use 1 1/2 eggs. (Weigh the second egg and divide by half).