Friday, January 11, 2013

Almond Joy Mini Cheesecakes

 I finally broke down and purchased a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms!  What a fun presentation and it is mini so fewer calories, right???
 Mom and Beth Ann are about to test the first mini cheesecakes from this hostess!
They were a hit and I have several more recipes to try.

Almond Joy Mini Cheesecakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 
3/4 cup sweetened flakes coconut, toasted
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 tablespoon coconut extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped cream
Toasted almonds
Toasted Coconut

For Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, almonds, coconut and sugar to fine crumbs.  With the processor running, slowly add the melted butter and pulse until it resembles moist sand.  Divide the mixture into the holes of your mini cheesecake pan and press evenly onto just the bottom (not sides).  Bake crust for 5 minutes and cool on wire rack.
REDUCE oven heat to 325 degrees.

For Filling:
In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the coconut extract.  Stop mixing and gently fold in the toasted almonds and coconut with a spatula until well combines.  Place the filling into cooled crust and bake for 25-30 minutes (until puffy and golden colored).  Remove cheesecakes from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For Glaze:
Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth.  Remove pan from heat and allow to cool-at least 10 minutes-or room temperature.  
Pour or spoon the glaze over the cheesecakes (which are still in pan) and spread evenly.  Place in fridge to cool completely (overnight is best). 
When ready to serve, run a knife carefully around each cheesecake to loosen and then push bottom of each up and carefully slide cheesecake away from bottom disc.
Garnish with whipped cream, almonds, coconut or whatever you choose (perhaps mint and a stemmed cherry)

Do enjoy~             

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