12th Week of Christmas- Cook up a Last Minute Surprise!

Naptime Gnome Idea #18

What’s Cookin? Easy Cheesecake SamplerDSCN7932

Everyone has that person to shop for that has positively everything. My grandparents claim that after 90 or so Christmases there really isn’t anything they need… understandable! So every year the rest of us try to think of something that may actually surprise them. We usually end up getting them food as they don’t want to have to store anything. We’ve given cheese, sausages, fruit, various pickled items, all of which were appreciated by Grandpa, but Grandma simply isn’t an eater… until it’s time for dessert! So I decided to combine their two favorite things, cheese + dessert = CHEESECAKE. I didn’t want to give a cake that would just be gone in a sitting, so I came up with a sampler of cupcake-sized cheesecakes that can be frozen for later!

Here is the simple cheesecake recipe I use (I borrowed it from Kraft a few years back and modified it to make 12 cupcake sized cheese cakes, and simplified the crust):

NOTE:  I usually make 3 dozen and divvy them between a few families, but a dozen is a good number for one or two people, so here’s the recipe for 1 dozen.DSCN7925

Ingredients

  • 1 box cream cheese (8oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 box vanilla wafers (“Nilla Wafers”)
  • Toppings (chocolate chips, fruit, marshmallows, caramel, candy, nuts, etc.)
  • Muffin/cupcake wrappers

Preheat oven to 325 °F, place wrappers in muffin tin. Arrange wafers as “crust.”DSCN7917Mix cream cheese, egg, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth, but not frothy. Place mix in a ziploc freezer bag. DSCN7919Seal bag and cut one corner off to make a pastry bag. DSCN7920Fill the cups about 3/4 full.DSCN7923

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until just starting to brown/toast. DSCN7928

Turn off oven and let cool in oven to prevent falling.

Decorate as you like… here are some ideas:

DSCN7934After the toppings are on, you may want to toast a few under the broiler (shown here: S’mores, creme brulee, turtle, peanut butter cup and rocky road were all toasted under the broiler until slightly melty/toasted).

Arrange, label and tie with a bow! Store in the fridge or freezer until time to gift!DSCN7939

You could use this idea for just about anything, cookies would be simple, but you could even make up a bunch of jars of pasta sauce, or even a few dinner’s worth of one-pots.

It’s a little bit more work than going out and buying something, but if you’ve been procrastinating, like I typically do, most of the stores are bound to close soon! So get cookin’! 🙂

ENJOY and have a VERY Merry Christmas!!!… Now let’s get off the computer and go celebrate!

-The Naptime Gnome <;’)

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