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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 5 whole crackers)
1 ½ Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Pinch salt
2 – 8oz packages cream cheese – softened
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs – room temperature
¼ cup sour cream – room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest
Pinch of salt
Seedless strawberry and/or raspberry jam
Fresh Strawberries – cut in half lengthwise, fresh raspberries and fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 325°F and place the rack in the center position. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. Set aside.
Make the crust: Combine the graham crumbs, 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin liners and press it down with the bottom of a ¼ cup measuring cup or the back of a spoon. Set aside.
Make the filling: Place the ½ cup of sugar and the lemon zest into a small bowl and rub together with your clean fingers, until fragrant and slightly damp. Set aside.
Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and beat on medium low with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until creamy and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the lemon-sugar mixture, salt and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined, with the mixer on medium low. Scrape the bowl and paddle, as needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, with the mixer on low, beating well after each addition. Scrape as needed. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated. Give the bowl one last scrape to be sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin tins over the crust. I use an ice cream scoop.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until centers are almost set. The cheesecakes will rise during baking and are likely to crack a bit. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool completely. Chill the cheesecakes in the muffin tin for at least 2 hours or overnight, before removing from the tin and topping. Note: When the cheesecakes are removed from the oven the centers will begin to sink, but this expected and provides the perfect space for the topping.
Remove chilled cheesecakes from liners, if desired and top each cupcake with about a heaping teaspoon of jam, a strawberry halve or a few raspberries, and some blueberries or the topping of your choice. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Notes: If the cheesecakes have been removed from the liners and are allowed to sit on a plate in the fridge for hours, the crust may begin to soften. I’ve found the crust stays crisp much longer in the liner. 

recipe source here 

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