Baking my way out of a funk

For some reason, the second Red Velvet cake I made for last weeks' Daring Baker's challenge put me in a funk.

Actually, I know the reason - disappointment.

I have such high expectations of my grandmother's recipes that having one be a dud was crushing! (The fact that both my little boys liked it did not help me at all. It was a dud.)

I had such a need to make something that I wouldn't be disappointed in, but didn't know where to start. The piles of cookbooks I have, all those wonderful blogs and websites, and my funk was such that I just couldn't figure out what I wanted.

Peabody actually helped - with all those cheesecake food porn, all those blogs with recipes, what else could I possibly make but cheesecake? But which one?!?!

As much as I wanted to make the winning entry, from Helene, a fellow Daring Baker, the funk was no fun. (And I wanted to make it before she won!) I wanted cheesecake. I wanted caramel flavor, I wanted lightness. I didn't want to follow a recipe.

So I did something I never do when it comes to baking - I made one up! (That way I had no one but myself to blame if it didn't work?)

I wrote everything carefully down when I did this. So of course now I can't find where I put the notes I made. So if you try this and it doesn't work, I may be misremembering things and I'm very sorry!

Mini Cheesecakes


2 cups crushed up graham crackers
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter, unsalted
pinch salt


2 250g packages light cream cheese, softened
2 250g packages regular cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line muffin pans with paper. This will make 18-24 (exact unnumber because I only used 1 muffin pan then made the rest in some corningware I had on hand.)
Mix base ingredients together well. Scoop 1 tablespoon of mix into the bottom of each muffin cup. Using a small glass or a measuring cup bottom, press base down until it covers the bottom of the muffin cup and is fairly compact. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until firm and golden. Allow to cool slightly before filling.
While bottoms cool, mix all the cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, until fluffy. Mix in both sugars with cream cheese and continue to beat until well combined. Add in eggs, one at a time. When well mixed, add in pinch of salt and the sour cream. Try not to over mix, however you want a smooth batter.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, about 2/3 full.
Bake at 350F for 20-23 minutes. Allow to cool before chilling for a few hours.

I had planned to make a caramel sauce with these but didn't have the patience. Or the need, as it turns out. They were creamy, a touch of tang, but mostly a slight caramel like hint from the brown sugar in both the base and the filling.

My children inhaled them, where they could get past me, as they were exactly what I needed!


Cheryl said...

The perfect bite sized cheesecake. Looks creamy and filling. Good job!!

Anonymous said...

That looks like breakfast on the go :) A fabulous way to break the funk, no doubt!

Brilynn said...

Doing your own thing is a good way to go, even better when it works out!

Peabody said...

Sorry you are in a baking funk...I've been there it is no fun. Cheesecake is a sure fire way to life your spirits!

Lis said...

OMG Jenny, they look incredible! I would LOVE caramel cheesecake.. I've already wrote down your recipe and I hope to try it soon.. Hot damn girl! Could they look any more creamier and luscious?



Sara said...

very very pretty. so much cheesecake on the web lately! i'm going to have to cave in soon and get cooking myself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Quellia! I love these - they are adorable, and sound delicious! Sometimes throwing the 'rules' out of the window helps to inspire me too.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The best part of funk is digging your way out with a recipe like this one!! Hooray Quellia!

Anonymous said...

Yeh, I get into a funk too sometimes . But I agree with Tanna this is a great way to get out of it. Mini-cheesecakes , YUM!

Freya said...

These are so cute! I love the idea of mini cheesecakes!

Anuhea said...

Making up recipes is so much fun! Then you can truly call it your own. These are really cute. I was hoping that maybe you could put my site under your list of links. I'd like more hits and feedback on the things I make. Thanks so much!

Elle said...

Tanna, those are so cute and they sound very delicious, too. If this is what happens when you make your own recipe, go girl! Do some more. It can be lots of fun and even the failures usually teach me something.

Anonymous said...

I bet those were amazing! They sound so good. Nice job!