Cheesecake to Ring in the New Year

If you need a splashy dessert for New Year’s weekend, try this easy recipe for mini cheesecakes. My three taste testers loved the recipe, and couldn’t tell the cheesecake was lower calorie/fat/carb.

One tester was my adult son, who came for a visit last week. He baked the cheesecakes for a party back in Chicago, which included a guest who is gluten free. He easily adapted the recipe.

Each mini cheesecake contains only 110 calories, 14 grams of carbs and 3 grams of saturated fat. Bonus: Each serving of cheesecake contains 5 grams of protein. Some people (me!) may consider a mini cheesecake part of a good breakfast.

Traditional Flavor, Light Texture

These mini cheesecakes have the same flavor of regular, full-fat cheesecake. The difference is in the texture, which  is extra light and more creamy. That’s the result of subbing reduced fat cream cheese for regular and 2% Greek yogurt for sour cream.

I adapted the recipe from the food blog Gimme Some Oven, making several changes. The original recipe called for a seven-inch spring form pan, a homemade crust and extended cooling period.

Recipe Shortcuts

I made that recipe several times, then simplified it. I substituted a muffin tin for a springform pan and put a single vanilla wafer in each cup rather than fuss with a crust. These changes made the recipe much quicker to prepare and eliminated the need for extended cooling. The finished result? Almost identical.

For a gluten free version, sub one side of a gluten-free Oreo  for the cookie base.

Tips

Decorate! These mini cheesecakes are adorable fancied up for an event. I used gold sparkles and candied pecans for a New Year’s theme; other fine toppings are fresh berries or a scattering of mini chocolate chips.  The toppings will add a few calories and carbs, but nothing major.

The mini cheesecakes are best when made the same day they are served, but they can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. For longer periods, freeze the mini cheesecakes and thaw for two hours in the fridge. Since the cheesecakes are softer than the regular version, to retain best texture, try to avoid placing them at room temperature for more than 30 minutes.

Guests May Want Seconds

Although the recipe serves 12, people may want seconds. If this is the only dessert you are serving, plan accordingly and make additional batches. Each batch takes about 20 minutes to make. I have not tried doubling the recipe, but it should be OK to do so.

Strongly consider using an instant read or quick-read food thermometer to make this recipe, as it can be tricky to figure out when cheesecake is done. The thermometers can be found everywhere these days – grocery stores, Target, Wal Mart, etc. – and cost under $15.

Happy New Year and enjoy some cheesecake!

Light Mini Cheesecakes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 12 Cheesecakes

Equipment

  • 1 Regular size muffin tin
  • Muffin tin liners

Ingredients
  

  • 1 8 oz. Package reduced fat cream cheese softened
  • 1 Cup 2% plain Greek yogurt I use Fage
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 Vanilla Wafers I used Nabisco brand
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Place liners into 12 cup muffin tin; add 1 Vanilla Wafer to each cup.
  • Place softened cream cheese, yogurt and sugar in mixing bowl; mix until blended. There should be no specks of visible yogurt.
  • Add egg, vanilla and salt to cream cheese mixture. Blend until just mixed.
  • Carefully divide cheesecake mixture into 12 cups.
  • Bake until cheesecake reaches 15O F degrees. NOTE: Do not use toothpick to determine if cheesecake is done. When done, cheesecakes will still be a little jiggly in center, and will firm up after cooking.
  • Cool pan on wire rack for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate until cold.
  • Top with fresh fruit before serving, if desired.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

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