4th of July

This photo was taken a year ago on 4th of July, on top of Pike’s Peak. That’s right, my husband proposed to me on top of a mountain and I literally felt like we were on the top of the world! It was better than the best proposal I could ever have imagined. This 4th of July was not quite as eventful, but it was great to spend the day with my husband making dessert, watching The Amazing Spiderman, swimming, and cooking burgers on the George Foreman!

I was really excited about the dessert that I had planned to make in more ways than one. Number 1, I love baking and hadn’t really had a chance to do it yet since we’ve been married, and number 2, I could finally use my beautiful red Kitchenaid mixer, given to us by my lovely Aunt Kim (Thanks again for the fantastic mixer!).

So the dessert I had decided to make was Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake cupcakes that I found on Annie’s Eats via Pinterest. I followed the recipe exactly, except I had a few changes that I had to make. After starting, we realized (husband helped me that these) that we didn’t have enough standard size cupcake liners, but we had a ton of minis, buuuttt we don’t have a mini muffin/cupcake pan! So we just laid the mini cupcake liners out onto a flat baking sheet. I did think that i was a good idea to use the minis, because it is such a sweet dessert that a little bite-sized treat is all you need – that is what the healthy me would say. But the sweets-loving me would tell you that since they are little bitty and bite-sized, you can eat more of them at one time without feeling so guilty! (I’ll let you decide which explanation is more accurate.)

Since I have a secret desire to be the Pioneer Woman, I thought I would share this recipe with you!

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted (I didn’t have any on hand so I just used regular stick butter)

3 tbsp. sugar

raspberry

6 oz. fresh raspberries

2 tbsp. sugar

Filling

2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temp.

1 1/2 cups sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla

4 large eggs, at room temp.

Preheat the oven to 325 and prepare the cupcake liners in the pan. Combine graham crackers, butter, and sugar, stirring together with a fork until the mixture is moistened.

For our mini cupcakes, we scooped 1 heaping teaspoon of graham crackers into the bottom of each liner. Then pressed them down with the back of the measuring spoon.

Bake for about 5 minute or until just set, then let cool.

For the raspberry puree, blend raspberries and sugar together until smooth. [I used my mini Ninja!] The recipe then called for straining the puree to remove the seeds, but we don’t have a strainer that fine, so the seeds just stayed it. [We don’t notice them at all.]

Next is the cheesecake filling, beat the cream cheese on medium-high or until fluffy.

Next mix in the sugar until smooth.

Then mix in the vanilla and salt.

Finally, beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each egg.

 

For my mini cupcakes, I spooned in a very heaping teaspoon full of cheesecake into each cupcake liner. Then add a few dots of the raspberry puree to the top of each and swirl with a toothpick to make a marbled look. [Sorry I don’t have a photo for this step, it’s hard to remember to stop and snap a shot!]

Bake for 22-26 minutes. [I started with 22 minutes as that is what Annie’s Eats suggested and then I ended up going about 4 minutes longer.]

Let the mini cheesecakes cool at room temp, then transfer to the fridge to cool for another 4 hours or so. [We did discover that they are better cold!]

Without the correct cupcake pan/cupcake liner combination, the cheesecakes drooped a little in all directions, but I think we got them in the oven quick enough that they set up pretty well. But if you want them to be prettier than mine (which aren’t very pretty) I suggest making sure you have the right combination! Oh and it’s supposed to make 32 cupcakes, and so I’m sure we have around 60 or so minis! I didn’t ever actually count like I should have. But we put some back in the freezer for later. Or if you are in the area stop by, because we have a ton of mini raspberry swirl cheesecake cupcakes. And they are oh so yummy!

Thanks to Annie’s Eats for the wonderful [slightly patriotic looking] dessert!

We made dessert just before lunch and they were perfect by dinner time.

Husband grilled hamburgers, I made oven fries, and we sat down at our little table to a nice 4th of July meal.

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