Wednesday, May 11, 2011

cupcake cake pops... with surprise ingredients!

These are, quite possible, some of the most adorable confections that have been produced in my humble kitchen. Last week, I bought a mini-peanut-butter-cup-shaped candy mold for the graduation cake pops that I'm working on (coming soon!), and thought i'd give these mini cupcakes a try. A few tries and some sprinkles later... ta-da! cuteness!
And they're so tiny! (they're sitting in mini muffin cups here) Calories don't count when they're bite-sized, right?
Oh, and I haven't forgot about telling you about the surprise ingredients...
I got crazy with the cake pop concept this time - I added marshmallows! If you have any brilliant ideas on how to turn a chocolate cake & marshmallow cake pop into a s'mores-flavored cake pop, let me know in the comments, k?
My other crazy cake pop idea was borrowed from the homemade peanut butter cups that I learned how to make last year from Every Day with Rachael Ray. Peanut butter cup filling replaces the cake entirely in this cute cupcake :)
p.s. thanks to George's Camera for helping me out with getting my camera charger fixed so I could take these photos! You're the best!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mini Honey Cheesecakes

The beautiful and sweet Krystel of Couture Events asked if I could supply a recipe for one of the desserts that I made for an adorable photoshoot that we shot a while ago. I am happy to oblige:

Mini Honey Cheesecakes
1 cup graham cracker pieces
¼ cup sliced almonds
¼ tsp cinnamon (approx.)
3 Tbl butter, softened
2 pkg cream cheese, softened
3 Tbl honey
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbl grated lemon peel
1 tsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°
Line mini muffin tin with mini muffin cups. In a food processor, combine graham cracker pieces and sliced almonds. Pulse, scraping down sides, until almonds are finely chopped. Add butter and a few dashes of cinnamon and pulse until mixture resembles gravel. Spoon about one teaspoon of the crust into each muffin tin. Now, grab that tacky souvenir shot glass your aunt bought for you on her last trip to Hawaii. Use it to firmly pat down the mixture into the bottom of the muffin cup, making it as even as possible.

Blend the honey and softened cream cheese. Beat in eggs and egg yolks, then add sour cream, lemon peel, and cornstarch. Beat until mixture is smooth. Fill each muffin tin about ¾ of the way full, and bake for 12-14 minutes. The cheesecakes might seem a little jiggly when you pull them out, but they will set after they have cooled. (If your cheesecakes start cracking on the tops, pull them out of the oven immediately! They are definitely done!).
Let them cool in the tin for a few minutes, then take them out of the tins and let them chill completely in the fridge (at least 30 minutes). Before serving, carefully remove cheesecakes from the paper muffin cups – by this point they’ll most likely be all crinkly-looking anyway. Right before serving, top each cheesecake with a "smidgen" of honey. You know, a smidgen*. Considerably less than a dollop, but more than a pinch.
Makes about 24 mini cheesecakes.

This could be fun to try with normal sized cupcake tins as well. Just increase the bake time a bit (again, be wary of cracks in the tops of the cheesecakes!), and make sure they have ample time to set in the fridge. Also, these would be yummy with all sorts of toppings. Like raspberry sauce! Or sugared strawberries! Yum. How sweet :)

*update: Did you know that "smidge," "dash," and "tad" all have uniform measurements? There is even a special measuring spoon set if you're going to be precise about it! I think I need one.