Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cheesecake Dessert Bar...

I don't think I've ever made a cheesecake that didn't involve the Jell-O "mix-n-bake". And really the only times that I've ever eaten a cheesecake that made an impression on my tastebuds were the three times I've eaten at the Cheesecake Factory....oh, in the span of about twelve years.

Yeah, it's been awhile.

So this last weekend I hosted a shower for my dear friend pictured in the One-Armed Photo post who is due in the next couple of weeks. Since it was at seven in the evening I thought it would be perfect to serve a cheesecake dessert bar. This basically entails making 36 muffin-sized cups of cheesecake, half with  an Oreo crust and the other half with a graham cracker crust. The "dessert bar" part is bowls filled with five to ten different toppings that people can put on their own little cheesecake.

I absolutely LOVED the cheesecake and will probably never go back to eating the boxed stuff again. I've also saved the recipe to either repeat the idea for another party or just to make a single one. It's good stuff.

Now let me share with you the directions....

Cheesecake Bar

What You Will Need:
  • 2 cup graham wafer crumbs
  • 2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar - divided
  • 1 cup butter (divided), melted
  • 5, 250g Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, at room temperature (this is important!)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 or more topping -- see suggestions below
What You Will Do:
  • Bases:
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F - if using small jars (36) place on a cookie sheet. If using muffin tins (regular size) line 36 ups with a liner.
    • Mix graham crumbs with 2 tbsp sugar and then 1/2 cup butter; press 1 tbsp of crumb mixture into half of the jars or cups.
    • Mix Oreo crumbs with 2 tbsp sugar and then remaining 1/2 cup butter; press 1 tbsp of crumb mixture into remaining jars or cups.
    • Bake 10 minutes.
  • Cheesecake:
    • Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.
    • Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add during the creaming process to evenly mix into cream cheese.
    • Add sugar, cornstarch and vanilla and continue to mix on medium until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well.
    • Break eggs into a bowl, break yolks and mix together slightly, add to cream cheese mixture with mixer on low speed in a steady stream just until blended.
    • Add 1/4 cup of this mixture to each jar/cup.
    • Bake 23-25 minutes or until center is almost set. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  • Topping Suggestions:
    • Traditional topping -- cooked fruits -- cherry, strawberry, blueberry or a mixture
    • Fresh fruit
    • Jams and preserves
    • Sauces -- chocolate & caramel. Try fruit syrups.
    • Cookie and candy pieces
    • Nuts -- regular, salted or candied
    • Whipped cream
    • Sprinkles
For my toppings I used cherries, raspberries, and strawberries; as well as chocolate, caramel and chopped up Snickers. 

This was fantastic! Enjoy!!

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