Despite what many people think, cheesecake is not a difficult thing to bake. In fact, it’s one of my go-to desserts when I need something simple.
These little treats are given a boost in a few ways. First, there’s one of my favorites, toasted coconut, in the crust. Second, the cheesecakes are bumped up in flavor and appearance with vanilla beans. And, if all that weren’t enough, each one is topped off with a sweet blueberry sauce.
Shortcut alert! You can use canned pie filling to top these off if you can’t find fresh berries.
Vanilla Bean Mini Cheesecakes
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes
For the crust:
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
For the sauce:
1 cup blueberries
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut onto bottom of small baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until toasted. Set aside to cool slightly.
Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Butter 12 cups of a mini cheesecake pan or line 12 cups of a miniature muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix flour, butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt with a fork, pastry blender, or your hands. Mix in toasted coconut.
Press 1 & 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of mixture into bottom and partially up the sides of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Pour batter onto crusts, filling each cup. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until cheesecakes are set. Cool in pan on wire rack for about an hour. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Place blueberries, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, stirring to desired consistency. Add more water if necessary. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve cold or warm over cheesecakes.
bite sized, blueberry, cheesecake, coconut, dessert
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