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The Easiest Cheesecake(s) You’ll Ever Make

By Dianna Muscari
January 21, 2016
Cooking

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Dear Cheesecake,

When it comes to decadent desserts, you are the cream(iest) of the crop. Your buttery crust, your rich filling, your endless flavor possibilities… nothing compares! Be mine forever.

Love,

Your NotSoSecret Admirer
I know that it was just a little over a month ago that we were making all sorts of clean, green promises as the clock struck midnight, but there’s no reason to swear off dessert for the whole year. Especially when you can sneak in some nonfat Stonyfield Greek yogurt while you indulge! Let’s talk cheesecake. Here’s the scoop: Red Velvet Cake? Cute, but I’m not interested. Donuts? I’ll take the bait, but they’re not my downfall.

When it comes to getting down and dirty in the world of dessert, I like my calories to come in the form of cheesecake. Sigh. Luckily, I consider cheesecake making enough of a hassle that you won’t find me whipping it up very often… until now. These mini cheesecakes are so easy to make and customize that they might just become your go-to dessert!

Making them minisized in muffin tins serves multiple purposes. First, portion control! If you have trouble showing restraint when you cut slices from a whole cake, you’ll appreciate the preportioned size that will help you get your sweet fix without going overboard. They’re also easier and less messy to serve to a crowd, which makes them great for potlucks and parties. Finally, you can easily make different flavors from just one batch of batter by getting creative with the simple base.

Just a handful of ingredients cream cheese, sugar, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and an egg are all you need for basic mini cheesecakes, but you certainly don’t have to stop there. Get daring with addins like flavored extracts {mmm, coffee?}, nuts, chocolate chips or lemon zest. Jazz up the crust by using crumbled cookies, pulverized sugar cones or salty pretzels. Add a little something extra on top by drizzling with caramel, topping with fresh fruit or crowning with coconut flakes.

There are hundreds of combinations, limited only by your imagination! Spread the cheesecake love!

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Mini Cheesecakes

Makes 10 mini cheesecakes
1 8 oz. block cream cheese
1 egg
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons Stonyfield nonfat Greek Yogurt (I used Vanilla, but you can use any flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup graham cracker (or chocolate wafer) crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare your muffin tin by brushing each well with butter.*
2. In a small bowl, toss together graham cracker crumbs and butter until it looks like wet sand. Scoop 2 tablespoons of buttered crumbs into each muffin well, and pat down to form a crust. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine all cheesecake ingredients in a blender or food processor. **Blend until smooth.
4. Pour about 3 tablespoons of cheesecake mixture over each crust, repeating until you’ve used up all of the batter.
5. Bake cheesecakes until the centers are set (not liquidy), about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until cold, about 2 – 3 hours.
Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
*You can also make these using cupcake liners for easier cleanup!
** If you want to flavor your cheesecakes with zest, jam or other extracts, make sure to add those in before blending.