Cheesecake cupcakes are a decadent treat

Cheesecakecupcakes1

I owe you a recipe. I didn’t post Sunday because I didn’t have anything I felt was suitable for Valentine’s Day. But when my team had its monthly potluck today—the theme was “foods we love”—it was the perfect excuse to bake something. I made my Strawberry Bavarian Pie because it’s one of my favorite things, but also realized that I’d missed a team member’s birthday, and he had specified that cheesecake is his favorite dessert.

I’ve had a hit-and-miss experience with cheesecake. I’ve only made it two or three times. The first time, I overbaked it and it cracked. The second time I was nervous about overbaking it, so I underbaked it. It was frustrating on both accounts. This time around, since I didn’t want to wait for a full cheesecake to bake, I decided to look up cupcake recipes and saw this one. It was really easy to put together, and they were, by far, the best cheesecakes I’ve ever made. They were single-serving-size perfection.

So, if you’re still looking for a recipe for your Valentines, whip up a batch of these. They’re a winner. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Crust
1 cup graham wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press a heaping tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the 12 muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Filling
2 8-ounce packages of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until firm but the centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (a few hours or even overnight).

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