I made this ridiculously easy and quick dessert using Kraft's recipe for Philadelphia cheesecake and then adding a few extra elements. I decided some dark chocolate decorations (gotta have chocolate) and a nice fresh strawberry would be a perfect pairing for my creamy cheesecake minis.
The Kraft Philadelphia cheesecake recipe is a decent and quick recipe for cheesecake, but it lacked that little touch of lemon I like in my cheesecake. I dislike graham cracker crust so I left that out when baking which meant I needed to add some texture to the dish as well. So my final addition to the dessert was some of Trader Joe's Meyer Lemon Cookies, crushed up and sprinkled as a base for the cookie cutter formed cheesecake minis. I could have made the lemon cookies as the crust but that would have added butter and more unnecessary calories plus taking away a fun plating element. Besides, I only thought of using them after the cheesecake was baked and i missed that lemon flavor!
I cut the cheesecake recipe in half and baked it in an 8x8 pan in less than half the full sized cheescake time so it would be a thin layer. After it was cool I simply cut out pieces with cookie cutters, lifting them out with a spatula while still in the cutter and gently pushed them out of the cookie cutters onto the lemon cookie dusted plates.
For the chocolate decorations I simply melted dark chocolate IN a small freezer bag, cut off one bottom tip of the bag, piped some designs on parchment paper and popped them in the fridge. The strawberries were sliced and fanned out.
All in all it took about an hour and a half to make and most of that was baking/cooling time! While the cheesecake and chocolate cooled I prepped the rest of my dinner!
P.S. I have cheesecake leftover and some beautiful chocolate tulip cups and I'm going to do something fun with those too!
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