because when it comes to cheesecake, all you really need is a bite or two…

[11 Feb 2008 | By | 9 Comments]

I cringe to put this photo here; for gorgeousness to define this recipe, hop over to Pinch My Salt.

I ran out of time to take a brilliant photo; I made this recipe, skipped the whip topping (no time), cut these beauties out of their muffin tin, dumped them on a plate and ran out the door. Shocking I even snapped a photo, though if I hadn’t taken that extra 29 seconds to snap these cheesy wonders (the other 31 seconds of that minute involved a micro planer and an orange—a rapid attempt at ‘presentable’), you might not have believed me when I told you 1. I made them, 2. they are heavenly—I tried them myself, and 3. they won a prize.

Our kids’ school has frequent fund raising events, and this particular one asked guests to ‘please bring an appetizer or dessert.’ Since I had printed out this recipe just a week prior (lucky recipe, didn’t have to get in the back of the recipe line—it never made it into my binder), it was perfect timing for this event.

People tried the desserts and voted on favorites; these cheesecake bites won, and I was given a token bottle of wine.

Thank you Nicole, for this award-winning recipe:

Orange Mini Cheesecakes with Grand Marnier Cream

1 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. brown sugar
1/3 stick melted butter

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 C. sour cream
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/3 C. sugar
finely grated zest of one orange

1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Grand Marnier
2 T. powdered sugar

Oven to 375 degrees. In bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until well combined. Divide crumb mixture evenly between the 12 cups of your mini-cheesecake (I made 15 in a mini muffin) pan. Press crumbs firmly onto the bottom and partially up the sides of each cup; set aside. Blend sugar and orange zest in a mini food processor (optional). In electric mixer, blend softened cream cheese, sour cream, egg, sugar and orange zest. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into the twelve cups; bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 20 minutes then carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and let cool completely on rack. Put cheesecakes in refrigerator and chill until ready to use. (Here is where I ran out of time): just before serving, make whipping cream. In cold bowl, whip cream, grand marnier and sugar until soft peaks form. Top mini cheesecakes with dollops of grand marnier cream and serve.

notes: I didn’t have a mini cheesecake tin, so I used a mini muffin tin. They still tasted fabulous, but I think they woulda been prettier coming out of an official cheesecake tin. Go look at the photo already!

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  • doodles said (11 February 2008 at 12:28 pm):

    bite size anything is great for me cause I feel as tho I’m getting away with something ;o)

    These are going in my recipe file for a tea I’m going to be having soon!!! Thanks

  • sher said (11 February 2008 at 1:11 pm):

    Well…I can tell that I would eat two or three…… or four of those beauties!

  • Us vs. Food said (11 February 2008 at 1:30 pm):

    a bite or two, sure. or, you know, eleven or twelve or sixteen.

    where do people get the adorable mini cheesecake pans? i need those, and i can’t find them anywhere!

    Us vs. Food

  • peabody said (11 February 2008 at 2:04 pm):

    I need a lot more than a bit or two of cheesecake…especially with Grand Marnier in it.

  • Nicole said (11 February 2008 at 2:48 pm):

    I think the photo turned out pretty good for just a quick snapshot! I’m so excited that I can call this an award winning recipe now! I’ll have to brag about it on Pinch My Salt soon :-) Thanks for writing about it!

  • Stef said (12 February 2008 at 11:46 am):

    Those sound amazing! I’m glad you put the pic up even if you didn’t love it. Nice to see how it turned out.

  • RecipeGirl said (13 February 2008 at 7:31 am):

    Kudos to you for actually MAKING a school dessert! At our school, Mom’s buy storebought creations and bring them to auctions and bakesales. Ewww!

    They look yummy :)

  • janelle said (13 February 2008 at 12:16 pm):

    Doodles: so true, and bonus points if you are standing:)

    Sher: I think I ate half the plate:)

    Us v. Food: I have no idea:) I best go look online…

    Peabody: eh, same way I like my creme brulee…

    Nicole: aw shucks:). Cool, eh?

    Stef: thank you for the kind words!

    RecipeGirl: good point, very good point. I have fond memories of delivery birthday cookies to my kids’ classes and their classmates swooning over: what? these are homemade? Scored big points:).

  • Cynthia said (15 February 2008 at 5:06 pm):

    I totally agree with the title of this post.