Learning to bake fearlessly <3

You know that adage, never go shopping when you’re hungry? Yeah, listen to that. Last week, I rolled out of bed and went grocery shopping without breakfast, and…well, I came home with some interesting items. One of those was a box of store-brand Nilla Wafers. Which I do love when I’m in the mood for them, but I just wasn’t feeling it this week. So, they became something even more delicious! I sat down and thought about it, and realized they would make an amazing cheesecake crust. And everyone loves cheesecake, right? (Lie to me if you must.)

Know what else everyone loves? Nutella. And strawberries, which are in season right now and looking luscious. So this recipe was begging to be made. The only trouble I’m having is not eating them all before my family gets home!

Strawberry and nutella mini cheesecakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

For the crust:
3/4 cup nilla wafer crumbs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

For the filling:
1 pound (16 oz, or two packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the topping:
Four or five large strawberries
1 tbsp sugar
About a cup of nutella

Makes approximately 17 mini-cheesecakes

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line your cupcake pan with cute liners. Take your nilla wafer crumbs (I used a food processor to pulverize them), and mix them with your sugar and melted butter until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Then take about a tablespoonful and press it into the bottom of each liner, pressing it down hard. I used a small cup to help. Bake these for about five minutes, until solid.

While these are cooling, make your cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese on medium-high until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the vanilla and the tiniest pinch of salt and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between. The filling should now be about pudding consistency and easily spoonable.

Let that hang out in the mixing bowl while you make the topping. It’s simple–chop the strawberries, add them to a food processor with the sugar, and puree. The resultant mixture will be thin, but that’s all right. Spoon the strawberry puree and nutella on top of the cheesecake batter in any configuration you like (half and half, or both on all, or some of each!), and swirl with a knife or toothpick to get a pretty wave. Bake for 22 minutes, until firm, then refrigerate for four hours before serving.


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