Count me as one of those who has vowed to eat more healthy this New Year.....but.....in MY world that doesn't mean I've sworn off all sweets. That would ensure failure right out of the gate. Every once in a while a girl just needs some chocolate, ya know? Or something decadent. What we DON'T need is the entire package of cookies or the whole enchilada. I mean pie. Or cake. Or box of donuts......don't act like you can't relate.
Here's a great recipe for those times when you just need a little something at the end of your dinner. Or between meals....I promise I won't tell.
Mini Brown-Sugar Cheesecakes
1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleve of 4-section graham crackers from a 14.4 oz. box)
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. PLUS 1 tsp. unsalted butter, melted; PLUS more butter for the pan
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp. lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground ginger (I use less--NOT a ginger fan here)
1 C light-brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar and the salt. Add butter and stir until combined. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. mixture into each cup of a buttered 24-cup mini muffin pan; press down to form a solid bottom layer. Bake for about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With beater running, add aggs, one at a time. Add lemon juice and zest, vanilla, ground ginger and brown sugar and beat until combined. Divide filling equally among muffin cups and bake until firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate until set, for a least 4 hours or overnight.
Gently run a knife around the cheesecakes' edges to loosen them, and invert pan to release the cakes. Transfer to a cake pan.
*Before serving, you could add a big dollop of whipped cream, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you that it changes the calories. OR drizzle your favorite caramel or chocolate sauce across the tops, OR add about 3 mini chocolate (or your favorite flavor) morsels to the top. Again, I won't tell ;-)
Makes 24 cheesecakes
Per cheesecake: 120 calories (see, ONE is ok!!!!)