Mini Cheesecake Cookie Cups

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The Lemon Meringue Cookie Cups I made were such a hit I was excited to experiment with different flavors of them.  There are so many cookie and filling options you could try to really get creative. Since cheesecake is my mom’s favorite dessert, turning them into mini cheesecakes for her birthday was a no-brainer.  I immediately thought of using the recipe from the S’more Cookies for the cookie cups and then decided to fill them with a no bake cheesecake recipe a la Martha Stewart.  As a final touch, I topped them off with sweet, syrupy strawberries.

IMG_2238These mini cheesecakes were delicious and surprisingly easy to put together. Minus the chocolate chips and marshmallows, the s’more cookie dough made the perfect graham-flavored base and the no-bake cheesecake filling kept things quick and easy. I opted for a no-bake filling as I wasn’t sure the cookie crust could handle the long bake time normally associated with cheesecake. Also, I didn’t exactly want to keep the oven on for that long in this hot weather!

I hope you try them, the lemon meringue or even your own version of these delightful mini desserts soon! Here’s the recipe broken down for you:

Graham Cookie Cups

adapted from ringfingertanline.com

Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup butter, softened
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup + 6 Tbls graham cracker crumbs
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix well.
  5. Fill each muffin cup with about a tablespoon of cookie dough and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
  6. Using the back of a tablespoon, carefully press into the center of each baked cookie to make 1-inch-wide indentation.
  7. Cool cookie cups for 5 minutes and then remove them from the muffin tray and cool completely.

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No Bake Cheesecake (filling)

copied from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

– 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (I used one reg and one 1/3 less fat)
– 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

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Putting it all together:

1. Slice strawberries, sprinkle with a little sugar and set aside to get nice and syrupy.
2. Once the cookie cups have completely cooled, fill each cup with about a tablespoon of the cheesecake filling and use a small spatula to smooth out the tops.
3. Top with sliced strawberries and serve (or refrigerate for later use).
4. Enjoy!

I’m thinking a chocolate version of these mini desserts will be next.  Maybe a cookie’s n cream variation… YUM!

What flavors are you thinking of?

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