Cheesecake Cupcakes

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I really love this plate. just saying.

Cheesecake can be a contentious thing. People love it or hate it, and even if you love it you can take multiple sides in the debate: French, New York, topped with all manner of things from fruits to caramel sauce. Etc.

Sometimes the best way to try something is to pick the simplest version, because to my mind, doing simple well is a real skill. It’s kind of the way I test out the kitchen in a restaurant that is new to me, order something simple. I did just that with a new Italian restaurant, ordered Fettuccine Alfredo. It was sublime which tells me to trust the kitchen because if they can do that well then I can only imagine that they can do the other things on the menu just as well. Happiness.

This is a simple cheesecake recipe, but also sublime. Thank you Martha Stewart – you always steer me in the right direction. Merci.

This is the full recipe, but I just made half.

3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature*

2 16-ounce containers sour cream
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
raw sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line four 12-cup cupcake tins with heavyweight aluminum liners, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, 4 ounces per cupcake. Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool slightly until cupcakes become concave. In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla to make the sour cream topping. Place a heaping tablespoon of topping in the center of each cupcake, and spread gently to edges of liner. Top with a bit of raw sugar and return to oven for 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator until cold, at least two hours.

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That’s Turbinado sugar on the top and it is excellent but not in the original recipe – but do it. And again, the plate is really cool.

*When I half a recipe that has an odd number of eggs, I always go one up – so in this case, I used three.

Sour Cream Cheesecake

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Sour Cream Cheese Cake

This was super easy cheesecake. Really light, not too sweet, and with a great flavor. I still love the Three Cities of Spain, but for a quick easy recipe where you typically have everything on hand, this is kind of hard to beat. Went over well at home (not too sweet) and at work (wow – real cheese cake!) See notes below.

1 9″ shortbread crust (see notes)
2 – 8 ozs bars cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla and sour cream.

Bake for 60 – 70 minutes or until cake jiggles across the top when shaken. Run a knife around the outside edge (plastic knives are really helpful here to not mess up your pans), but leave the cake in the pan. Let cool on counter, then place in the refrigerator. Remove from pan when completely chilled.

Notes: I didn’t use a shortbread crust. I used the graham cracker crust from the Three Cities of Spain cheesecake recipe. And since works for my favorite cheesecake it worked for this one too.

Here are those details:
5 ozs (1 sleeve) graham crackers, ground – or vanilla wafers or animal crackers
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Mix together and press into bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Easy and good.