I like sweets. A lot.
I’d probably be five pounds lighter and worry a lot less about the dentist fussing at me if I weren’t such a fan. Even so, I prefer to eat versions of my favorite treats that are a little healthier than usual while still satisfying my (frequent) cravings for sweet things.
And my favoritest of all favorite treats is definitely cheesecake. Which is why I was pretty jazzed when I stumbled across a recipe for Red, White, and Blue Mini Cheesecakes years ago. They’re delicious, bite-sized (if you can unhinge your jaw like a seven-year-old boy, anyway), and, best of all, sweetened with honey and loaded with fruit.
Oh, and super easy. Did I mention that yet?
And with the 4th of July just around the corner here in the States, they make an awfully cute and patriotic addition to any Independence Day spread.
Here’s all you need to make some yourself.
Vanilla wafers (either 16 or 32)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp real vanilla extract
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
A can of cherry pie filling
Blueberries (enough to garnish each mini cheesecake)
To make them:
Preheat oven to 325 °F. Beat softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla extract and honey until well blended.
Place one (or two…I went with two) vanilla wafers in the bottom of each cupcake liner, then cover with cheesecake batter until the liner is 2/3 full (it will puff up a little while cooking). Cook for 22-24 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cheesecakes are slightly jiggly but not runny.
Let cool for 10 minutes, then top with a spoonful of cherry filling and as many blueberries as you’d like.
I wanted to add a bit of a festive flair, so I chose silver cupcake liners for a little sparkle and then made tiny banners from frilled toothpicks and white labels.
Yes, I did get that one all unwrapped and ready for me to eat right after I took the pictures.
I love the hint of honey flavor in the creamy filling and the contrast of the gooey cherry topping with the crisp, tart blueberries.
Dessert that tastes and looks good? Yes, please!
Of course, there may be a bit of irony in a little flag that says, “Freedom,” stuck inside such an addictive little treat. Each one comes in at a little under 200 calories, but that’s only a good thing if you just eat one.
“Just one” was my plan last night when I made these. But then Della didn’t want hers…and I couldn’t let it go to waste, right? Of course, right. (Don’t ask what my excuse was when I ate three more for breakfast this morning because I’m sure I don’t know)
Good thing I taught a double at the gym last night!
What about you guys? Do you have a dessert that makes you weak in the knees every time?
Any fun plans for the 4th?