I am in my friend’s wedding in September and last weekend was her bridal shower. It was a low-key, backyard shower so some of the bridesmaids volunteered to bring some of the food. I volunteered for desserts – as in ALL of the desserts. If you’re gasping and wondering why anyone in their right mind would do that, where were you weeks ago to talk me out of this? Good thing I like to bake.
Anyhow, I had a vision of my dessert spread. I wanted everything to be mini – it was early in the day so I knew people wouldn’t be super hankering for sweets and it just looks so much more elegant when things are small doesn’t it? I volunteered to do three desserts – the m&m sugar cookies that I have written about before and absolutely love and cannot get enough of, brownies, and mini cheesecakes (ambitious right?) I was asked to also do a fourth, gluten-free option and the request was specifically for rice krispie treats which are easy so I took those on as well.
Now, this post will mostly be about the cheesecakes as that was my chosen new Pinterest recipe but let me fill you in quickly on the other items as well.
For my favorite m&m sugar cookies I followed the recipe as usual but instead of 2 tbsp. per cookie I used 1. I thought this would make them mini when in reality it just made them thinner and crispier. They were still delicious but obviously not as chewy and soft as usual. I guess I should have baked them less time instead to keep them from spreading out as much but live and learn.
For the rice krispie treats I made a double batch of the recipe right on the cereal’s website. I cut them into a mini size of about 1-inch squares. I ended up with 90 (!) treats when I only needed about 40. I decorated the treats with one or two pink hearts per square.
For the brownies I followed the box directions for fudgy brownies. I cooked them in a 13 x 9 pan so they were relatively thin. Then, to make them mini and get them to fit perfectly in the paper liners I had, I cut them into circles using the rim of a shot glass. I decorated half of the brownies with the bride’s and groom’s first initials and the other half with “I do.”
And now for the piece de resistance – the mini cheesecakes. Were these intimidating? Yes. Were they the most technically advanced to make? Yes. Were they downright delicious? Yes. Were they actually that hard to make? No. So for this recipe you start with your crust and bake that first. I love me a graham cracker crust so I was flying high at this point in the process. Next, you mix up your filling and pour it in and bake again. Then let cool, pop out, and garnish. Sounds easy right?
My comments about these cheesecakes were the portioning isn’t correct. The recipe says it makes 24 and I was making a double batch of 48. The crust recipe actually makes 24 per batch and maybe even more. I don’t know exactly how many it would make because I ran out of filling. I only got 36 cheesecakes total before the filling ran out. The recipe doesn’t say how much to fill the tins but I assumed ¾ of the way up as with most other recipes and they seemed the correct size when they came out so I’m not convinced I overfilled.
They are also really tough to get out of the pans – I had to run a knife around the entire edge of each one (carefully! You don’t want to split your filling from your crust!) and flip the pan over to get each one out. ONE – BY – ONE. Ugh. By this point in the day, after 6 hours of baking, I refused to go out and by more ingredients to make more filling so I gave up and we had to make due with 36 (well, technically, 34 since I destroyed two getting them out of the pan.) There were leftovers so the amount was fine but definitely frustrating.
However, they were so delicious, that I can forgive them these shortcomings and will probably make them again when I have an entire day to waste or maybe even make a half batch when I’m craving cheesecake.
At the end of the day it was worth it. People seemed to enjoy the desserts and the spread looked wonderful. The desserts looked even fancier on the display trays that I whipped up (I’m full-service.) The trays were super easy – two same sized trays and a short candle stick (all from the Dollar Store) hot glued together and – voila!- two-tiered dessert display. I had one two-tiered tray per dessert and a couple of single trays for overflow.
I hope the bride was as happy with it as I was!