Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

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Okay, let's talk about the big news of the week... HAVE YOU SEEN CHIP AND JOANNA'S NEW TARGET LINE?! It's so cute. I want to give them all my money. I've been making a prop wish list for Christmas and it has essentially double. Ah, I need to buy more instant ramen. 

I haven't actually gone to Target yet though, just cyberstalking here. Why? Well it's like the plague has fallen on San Francisco. Sorry, I'm being dramatic. But riding the bus is like swimming in a germ pool. Gross. Reuben and I have both fallen victim to whatever cold is floating around, so we have the energy level of a 4th year architecture student the night before her final critique. That's pretty dire. But we are persevering! Just not going to Target or doing any outside activities anytime soon. 

Honestly, being forced to stay put, drink soup, and watch Netflix has been much need. Sometimes, I need to remind myself to just slow down. And I have a real excuse to sleep for 10 hours.

Alright, it's almost my new bedtime... 9pm. Should we talk about these mini cheesecakes?! This recipe was handed down to me at my last job. When I worked at BAR Architects there was this amazing woman, Lillian. She was a badass architect and knew everything you needed to know about building code. She was also the keeper of this amazing cheesecake recipe. Lillian's cheesecake was super light, just sweet enough, covered in fruity pineapple, and sooooo addictive. I sat right by the kitchen, so I would always be one of the first to know if Lillian plopped down her famous cheesecake in the kitchen. I would quickly scurry over for a slice before everyone else knew. Suckers. JK : )

I finally got the recipe from her when I left! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 

It turns out that Lillian's Cheesecake was actually called Betty's Cheesecake, LOL! And it is stupid easy to make. The recipe was passed down to her from an old neighbor, I believe. You know its a great recipe if it keeps getting passed down from person to person. Food is so great isn't? Connecting people and all. I don't know who Betty is, but I'm really thankful that she passed it down to Lillian and then she passed it down to me! Now I'm passing it on to you! Does this make it Kristina's Cheesecake?

I've adjusted it just slightly. First of all, I miniaturized it. The recipe is originally meant for an 8" round or square pan, which you can still do. But there are many pros to making mini cheesecakes.

1. They bake quicker.

2. You don't need to worry about the surface cracking.

3. You can eat a whole mini cheesecake on your own.

4. They are easy to share with friends or you can hoard all of them in your freezer for when you're feeling like life is being a real bitch and you just need a damn mini cheesecake.

Also, who doesn't love those small cheesecake squares you can buy at Costco? Mini things are always good!

I also switched up the topping. It seemed a little off season to put pineapple on it so I decided to whip up some dreamy salted caramel instead. Can I get a faucet of salted caramel installed? omg it's so good. You can honestly top it with whatever you like! Drained pineapple, peaches, berry compote, sour cream, or your favorite jam. Make it YOUR Cheesecake!


Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

makes 12 mini cheesecakes

Cheesecake Materials:

1 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers 

1/3 cup melted 

1/2 tsp salt

16 oz cream cheese - room temperature 

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs - room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

Salted Caramel - I used this recipe!

Steps:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Crumble your graham crackers in a food processor or in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Combine crushed graham crackers with butter and salt, give it a good mix. 

2. Line the cupcake tins with liners and divide the crust mixture evenly between each cup. Pat down the mixture until firm.

3. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth. You can also use a stand mixer of course. The key to a smooth cheesecake is making sure the cream cheese is at room temperature.

4. Pour the cheesecake filling into each cupcake tin. Smooth out the tops with a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the mini cheesecakes from the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack. The cupcakes will poof and then deflate once cool, which make for perfect pools to pour the caramel into.

5. Pout the salted caramel over each mini cupcake and top with a generous sprinkle of flakey sea salt.