People always talk about the life "phases" one experiences with age. You know the milestones: college, first jobs, first home, marriage, babies, etc... As I near the end of the twenties spectrum (two years and holding!), I feel fortunate to have seen and been a part of many of the phases. In fact, I think the latter two phases, marriage and babies, have been the mainstays for the last number of years. And, judging by all the announcements magneted to our fridge, the few years in age between Nicholas and I seem to have extended them. And honestly, I couldn't love that more. These occasions are filled with joy. Plus, they always warrant sweet treats.
Nicholas and I officially "met" at a mutual friend's wedding so we love a good matrimonial ceremony and celebration! And Nicholas is a total baby lover. Now me, eh, not so much. Mostly little ones make me anxious. Despite how "responsible" or nurturing I might be, I generally tend to prefer babes at arm's length. But as of late, many of my nearest and dearest have had or are having children and we were blessed with our much adored niece last March, so I am working on my complex.
This week, a favorite college friend welcomed her second wee one. R and her husband chose not to find out the gender so it was a great surprise when their baby girl was born on Saturday. Nicholas and I had the privilege of meeting precious Baby E tonight. Yes, I held her. And, we all survived!
During R's pregnancy, she limited her sugar intake and was craving all things lemon. Couple that with my personal struggle with visiting someone and showing up empty-handed. Enter mini lemon cheesecakes. Tart. Sweet. Small. Celebration-worthy. And, easy to make (bonus!).
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with Gingergraham Crust
2/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted
16-ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Whipped cream (homemade, RediWhip, etc.)
Sprinkles or gingersnap crumbs
First things first, preheat oven to 350F and line 14 -16 cups of two muffin pans with your favorite festive paper liners.
Process gingersnap cookies and graham crackers in food processor (or do it old school and crush in a plastic ziptop bag with a rolling pin).
In a medium bowl, make the gingergraham crust. Mix together gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, lemon zest and salt and stir to combine. . Pour melted butter over mixture and stir with a fork to moisten the crumbs.
Place a tablespoon (give or take) of crumb mixture in each of the prepared muffin cups and pack down into an even layer.
Cream together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Stir in lemon zest.
Divide cheesecake mixture evenly into prepared muffin tins. Makes between 14-16 cheesecakes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheesecakes are set. (I baked mine for about 22 minutes.)
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan, then carefully transfer cheesecakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before refrigerating.
The cheesecakes can be served at room temperature shortly after cooling, or they can be chilled for up to two or three days (my favorite!). If you're feeling fancy, garnish with whipped cream and a dash of sprinkles.
Recipe slightly adapted from Baking Bites.
Sweets in honor of sweet beautiful Baby E were a success! These are a perfect make-ahead spring or summer dessert to celebrate any phase, occasion, or reason. Make them soon.
Until next time! xo-
PS I promise to work on the quality of my photos...please bear with me as become "Kathy Kodak" :)