And I’m back! Welcome to Day 11 of the 12 Days of Christmas. It’s hard to believe that this fun holiday event is almost over.
Today I’m back to share another delicious and totally adorable recipe with you. Around the holidays there is nothing better than being home and whipping up deliciousness in the kitchen.
Years ago, before buying a B&B and becoming a blogger, I lived in Philadelphia and worked for a hotel chain. The holidays were always so busy at work that I was never able to go home for Christmas. I can’t tell you how much I hated that.
Nowadays I’m so grateful and happy to be home. Plus, I can make as many sweet treats as I want because I have lots of friends and family around to share them with.
It actually reminds me of this this adorable home-inspired video from the folks at Campbell’s Homestyle Soup. It’s a good reminder that there certainly is no place like home! Campbell’s is actually helping a few folks win a trip home this holiday season! I love that. But before we get to that, let’s talk cheesecake.
So, without further ado, on to the cheesecakes!
I love making single serving food. While it takes a little longer in the kitchen, there is just something extra special about it.
Last year for our Christmas Eve celebration at my mom’s house I made these adorable mini cheesecakes in 4 ounce mason jars. They were such a big hit (and I failed to blog about them) so I’m recreating them this year as an idea for your holiday gatherings.
Obviously, you can make these any time of the year and adjust the toppings to your liking or the season. For these, I decided to make a few little chocolate trees and stars for garnish. They really amp up the cuteness.
I’m going to show you how to create the garnishes as well. But first, let’s make the cheesecakes.
Here’s what you will need:
1½ cups crushed graham crackers
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
3 packs (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 whole vanilla bean, seeded (or 2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring)
24 mason jars (4 ounce size)
Let’s get baking.
In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter. Press two large spoonfuls into each jar. Use a cork, or something similar, to press the mixture tightly into the jar. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly pour in the condensed milk. Beat until smooth. (It's important that there are no lumps.)
Next, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. (I really like using the vanilla bean seeds versus vanilla extract. I love seeing the black specs in cheesecake.)
Now scoop the batter into the jars until each three-quarters full. That's about 3 large spoonfuls per jar.
Place the jars into two 13x9" baking pans. Twelve jars per pan. Then fill the pans with hot water. (The water level will be about halfway up the jars.)
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. You’ll want to remove the cheesecakes from the oven before any browning occurs.
Carefully remove the pans from the oven. (The pans and the water will be very hot.) Using a towel or oven mitt, remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool completely.
Once cooled, add any topping you like. I used cherry pie filling and caramel.
Now that the cheesecakes are ready, let’s make some chocolate garnishes!
You’ll need about 1 cup chocolate melting wafers.
Line your counter or a baking tray with waxed paper. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave again for 20 - 30 seconds. Continue microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is melted. (If you prefer, you can use the double boiler method to melt the chocolate.)
Place chocolate in a heavy resealable plastic bag. Snip off a very small piece from one corner. Then pipe your trees or stars onto the wax paper. Be sure to make your lines thick so they won’t easily break after hardening. If you’d like, sprinkle with jimmies before they set. Chill, and then remove from the wax paper.
That’s it. Place your chocolate garnishes on your mini cheesecakes and they are ready to serve.
Aren’t they cute? It’s the perfect size for a delicious sampling of cheesecake. These will certainly be a hit at your house over the holidays.
Also, if you are looking for a way to make it home this holiday, Campbell’s Homestyle Soup can help! With their Pin-It-To-Win-It Sweepstakes!
Today through December 16, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, any U.S. resident age 18 and above can visit CampbellsHomestyle.com to enter for a chance to win one of fifteen $500 airline gift cards.
Good luck everyone and happy baking!
More awesome holiday-inspired ideas:
This post was created as part of my collaboration with Campbell’s Homestyle Soup. As always, the thoughts and ideas are my own.