I feel like I have the next few days to post any recipes containing summer ingredients and then they are banned for good, to be replaced by apples, pumpkin and all things cozy. The moment September rolls around it seems like a mad rush for anything fall am I right? Now don’t get me wrong- I adore autumn and everything that comes with it- (football, pumpkin beer, leaves changing for starters,) but I suddenly feel like I have way too many summer recipes that I had planned to make but never got to. Why are things so hard to accomplish with a baby sometimes?
Luckily having my Mama in town last weekend meant I had a chance to get some baking done, and since it was also her birthday I knew that her favorite dessert, cheesecake, had to happen. And mini? Even better!
These are classic vanilla bean cheesecakes with tangy sour cream topping. I loaded them up with fresh berries which was just delightful. I made these using my fancy cheesecake pan, but you could just as easily make them in cupcake tins with liners!
We celebrated my Mom’s birthday on our back porch with burgers on the grill and these cute bite-sized desserts afterwards. They’re just perfect for a potluck-type setting where finger food is key- (the best kind!)
- 1 1/2 cup crushed Graham Crackers
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2-8oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs - at room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1 pint sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Fresh berries for topping (optional)
- Spray or grease 18 mini cheesecake wells or a muffin tin. Preheat oven to 375.
- Put half of the box of graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until finely ground. Measure out 1 1/2 cups into a medium sized bowl.
- Stir together the crumbs and the sugar, and then evenly pour the melted butter into the mixture. Stir using a fork until everything is evenly blended.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of crust mixture into each well and press into bottom with your fingers. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese and sugar together on medium to medium-high speed. Once fully combined, add the vanilla and one egg. Blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Scrape the bowl down from time to time to ensure everything is being mixed together. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly each time. (Don't mix on high speed - this will incorporate too much air into the batter and the cheesecakes won't be as dense once it bakes.)
- Pour mixture over the crusts- filling each about 3/4 of the way. Gently tap the pan to encourage any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
- Place the cheesecakes into a preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until the centers no longer jiggle when gently shaken. Once the first layer has baked, let it cool for at approximately 15 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 450° F.
- For the Sour Cream Topping:
- While the cheesecake is cooling, whisk the sour cream, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled for approximately 15 minutes, spoon the sour cream topping over tops. Using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, smooth out the surface of each one.
- Place cheesecakes back into the oven (remember the heat should have been increased to 450° F) and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to let cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate the cheesecakes overnight to set. *Don't put cheesecakes in the fridge until it has cooled to room temperature.
- Top with fresh berries before serving.