I was catering a dessert buffet for a local business. I hired my young friend Emily to assist. She is a new bride and is very interested in cooking, keeping house, and hospitality.
I made several types of cookies and little bite sized cheesecakes for the event. The cheesecakes were 2” in diameter. These were great because cheesecakes can be made and frozen in advance.
Emily was impressed because I served the treats on the clear lids of a portion cup. In fact, she thought it positively brilliant, and said so.
Serving the cheesecake bites on the lid made the dessert easy to serve. The lid was a mini plate. As many of the attendees were too full after the meal, they preferred to take their dessert with them for later. The portion cup was placed over the cheesecake and snapped into the lid. It became a moveable feast.
Emily shared a kitchen tip that never occurred to me. I thought it brilliant, and said so. She uses coffee filters instead of paper towels to wipe off excess peanut butter or mayonnaise from a spoon.
Coffee filters are very inexpensive-about a penny apiece. Paper towels run about twice that, but much would be wasted with this task. Coffee filters are the perfect size! BTW-They also make a great holder for kid snacks like crackers or dry cereal, eliminating the need for a plate.
I love how we are never too old or too young to learn from one other! I immediately made room for coffee filters to be right at hand in my kitchen as certain people in my household leave their gooey peanut butter covered spoons in the sink. (I confess, this IS a pet peeve of mine.) So now, problem solved!
I’m sharing today the recipe for Praline Cheesecake. It was one of the desserts I made the day Emily and I enjoyed learning from each other.
1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. pecans, very finely chopped
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter
Chop pecans and graham cracker crumbs in food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Press mixture over bottom and press 1-1/2″ up the sides of 9″springform pan. Bake @ 350° for 5-10 minutes.
3 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. pecans, toasted
1 jar caramel ice cream topping (or use caramel candies melted in microwave on low setting with a little milk or cream to thin for a sauce)
Beat cream cheese until smooth, then add brown sugar. Beat until incorporated and use spatula to scrape the bottom. Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the evaporated milk, a little at a time until fully combined. When this is done, add the flour, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Do not overbeat. Pour into crust and bake in 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until set. Cool in pan. Remove sides and place on serving platter. Sprinkle pecans on top and drizzle with caramel prior to serving. This cheesecake freezes well and freezing allows for easy removal from pan.
Note: Cheesecakes are perfect for dessert buffets. They are rich tasting & can be made well in advance, frozen, and removed from the spring-form pan bottom (allowing you to use the pan for the next one.) They can be garnished while frozen on the platter, then allowed to thaw in the fridge until serving time. Dip knife in very hot water between slices to make cutting easier.