Mini Vanilla Bean Turtle Cheesecake and a Giveaway!
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a bit obsessed with cream cheese. I was actually so obsessed that I remember eating those individual packets by itself. No bagel. No toast. Just cream cheese, straight up.
Yeah, I liked them that much. It drove my mother crazy.
My love for cream cheese hasn’t changed since then. In fact, I’m sure I love it even more now, if that’s even possible.
Now when it comes to cream cheese, I’ve always had PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, mainly because my mother was always the one to bring home that silver box of creamy goodness. No, but really, PHILADELPHIA cream cheese has been around since 1872, using milk sourced from dairy farmers local to where the cream cheese is made, combining it with real, wholesome cream. It goes from the farm to the fridge in just six days, with absolutely no preservatives.
So I’ve partnered up with PHILADELPHIA cream cheese in part of the Bring Out the Silver campaign, and I bring you my favorite mini cheesecake recipe of all time - vanilla bean turtle cheesecake.
It involves a creamy, vanilla bean cheesecake base on top of a nice and thick graham cracker crust, drizzled with warm caramel sauce and melted chocolate garnished with a pecan. It’s a good thing these are divided up into mini cheesecake portions because I’ll be honest with you - it’s kind of impossible to stop at just one of these cheesecakes. You’ll want at least 2. Now in my case, I think I had 4.
Then I went to the gym for 2 hours to work it off.
Yes, it was worth it. Every single bite was worth the 20 minutes I had to do on the elliptical.
Now I don’t know about you but being the perfectionist that I am, I need to have a crack-free cheesecake so here are some helpful tips for that picture perfect cheesecake every time you bring out the silver:
- Prep it Right: Set out ingredients about 10 minutes before baking to work with them at room temperature. Allow your oven to preheat while preparing your filling.
- Be Gentle: Do not over-beat. Over-stirring can add too much air into the batter, which can cause cheesecake to crack. Beat in eggs, one at time, on low speed until just blended.
- Practice Patience: Don’t peek! Opening the oven door while cheesecake is baking causes drafts that may lead to cracking.
- Loosen Up: Another way to prevent cracking is to immediately run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake after baking to loosen it from the sides of the pan.
Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is doing to Bring Out the Silver!
- Bake or Break
- Buns in My Oven
- Dine and Dish
- Hoosier Homemade
- In Katrina’s Kitchen
- Shugary Sweets
- Brown Eyed Baker
- Cookies and Cups
And now for the giveaway!
The kind folks over at PHILADELPHIA cream cheese are giving 2 lucky Damn Delicious readers their very own copy of Cooking with Pheeling, featuring more than 50 appetizers, side dishes, entrees and desserts! Just be sure to enter through the rafflecopter below. Good luck!
Giveaway ends on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific time. The winner will be selected by random.org and contacted by email. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to US residents only.
Mini Vanilla Bean Turtle Cheesecake (adapted from PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese):
Yields 12 mini cheesecakes
- 2/3 cup HONEY MAID graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
- 12 pecan halves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until a crumbly, moist mixture forms. Press 1 tablespoon crumb mixture over the bottom of each cheesecake cavity; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla and vanilla been seeds until well combimed.
Pour the filling into each cheesecake cavity, spreading it out in an even layer.
Place into oven and bake until centers are almost set, about 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Serve chilled, drizzled with caramel, melted chocolate and pecan halves, if desired.
Disclaimer: I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments.
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