Friday, April 9, 2010

mini cinnamon brown sugar cheesecake - wrong season, but equally yummy

mini cinnamon brown sugar cheesecake - 29While waiting for my mini blackberry cheesecake to bake, my mind began to wander. What if, for some unknown reason, the jam separates in the cream cheese mixture and floods the entire cheesecake? Or, what if, for some other unknown reason, I got the timing wrong for these damn mini springform pans and happened to be severely overcooking them? Whatever the case may be for these strange exaggerations running through my mind, I was just not content with the cheesecake (and yes, this was while the cheesecake was still in the oven). I scrambled for another recipe to make; there was no way this Friday's baking activities were going to end unsatisfactory.

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I figured- what the hell, I'd try to conjure up yet another mini cheesecake. (You see, technically, two mini cheesecakes equal half of a regular size cheesecake. Mathematically, I think these cheesecakes are still aligned with my diet plan, hehe.)

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As for flavoring, I chose to go in a complete opposite direction from the blackberry cheesecake. Perhaps something seasonal and warm? I found a lot of recipes online for a cinnamon brown sugar cheesecake and it just spoke to me. (I guess I was confused and thought the current season was Fall.)

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"You call me a bitch like it's a bad thing?" Believe it or not, shot glasses are useful for more than just measuring vodka shots when you've had a bad baking day. I used the shot glass to press down the graham cracker crumbs and push them up against the walls. Oh, and did I mention I flavored the crust with more cinnamon and brown sugar? (Delicious!)

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So unlike the blackberry cheesecake, this little monster decided to collapse upon itself while baking. This is an everyday occurrence for my 9-inch spring form pan, but I'm truly appalled that this is the first time my mini pan caused breakage.

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Besides the disgusting depression in the center, the tiny brown cylinder of deliciousness really pleased me. Mini cheesecakes just might be my new favorite thing.

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These little slices were just the right size to nibble on (that is, if you were in the nibbling mood).

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My boyfriend and I, on the other hand, probably found the entire 4.5 inch diameter cheesecake the perfect size to share between just the two of us.

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For the record, both my cheesecakes I made today were equally delicious. I have no idea why I freaked out about the blackberry one, but at the same time I'm glad I decided to venture out and make this little baby. So I guess I've found my ultimate go-to basic cheesecake recipe.

Adapted from All Recipes.
I one-fourthed the recipe to fit my 4.5 inch springform pan.

crust ingredients:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (omitted)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 tablespoons butter, melted

cheesecake ingredients:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
A few good shakes of cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg
A few heaping tablespoons of brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, chopped walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan (4.5 inch in my case). Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Beat in sour cream and heavy cream. Blend in the flour and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add eggs one at a time. Pour batter over crust.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until center is almost set (filling will be soft). Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before removing from pan. ()If using a 4.5 inch baking pan, I got these directions from Hub Pages: Bake at 300 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center of cheesecake is almost set. I let them sit in the oven after I turned it off for another 10-15 minutes.)

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