My family loves when I make desserts for the holidays. The problem is I don’t like or make the “traditional” desserts – pumpkin pie, etc. So, because everyone wants those as well, we end up buying the traditional pies (or my mom makes them) and we end up with way more dessert than we can eat. It was requested I make a dessert again this year for Thanksgiving but I wanted something that would store easily after. I thought mini cheesecakes would be a great option! Since they are small you can eat one and still have room for a slice of pumpkin pie and storage of leftovers is easier since you can stick them in any tupperware container.
You might recall these mini cheesecakes that I made for my friend’s bridal shower. These were amazing and I intend to make them again soon but I want to expand my options and look for something a little more festive. I also wanted to offer a selection of flavors to try to appeal to everyone’s different tastes. I landed on cranberry, red velvet, and cake batter mini cheesecakes.
I started with the cranberry cheesecakes because those seemed the most involved as this recipe requires you to make a separate batch of cranberry sauce. I followed the recipes exactly except for I added a little more raspberry balsamic and sugar (maybe an additional tsp. of each) after tasting. I only used the cranberry sauce for the cheesecakes but, because the recipe makes SO much (my biggest complaint about this recipe – I wish the author provided a pared down version just for the cheesecakes) my family said they used it on their turkey leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. I thought it was a little sweet for that but they liked it! My only other complaint about these is that the recipe only makes 7 (what a weird number?!?) They were by far the best of the three options as they have a great cheesecake flavor and the cranberry sauce is the perfect balance. There were hardly any leftovers of these and I wished there were more!
Next, I moved on to the red velvet. These were really easy and the only change I made to the recipe was I used “thin” style chocolate sandwich cookies instead of original because that is what I had in the pantry. I used a few more because of this – about 14. These were my second favorite of the three. The flavor is very rich. They are slightly more dense than your traditional cheesecake which I assume is from the addition of the cocoa powder.
Finally, I moved on to the cake batter cheesecakes. These were my least favorite (though a big hit with my younger brother!) I felt like the addition of the cake batter in the cheesecake threw the texture off – it wasn’t as creamy as I would like in a cheesecake. I was also disappointed the recipe didn’t say how many it made. I ended up with about 18 of them made in a regular muffin tin. There was nothing really wrong with them – they were tasty – but I’m not sure I would make them again.
Whether I make these particular cheesecakes again or not I know I will keep making mini cheesecakes – they are a perfect portion dessert and delicious!