Mini Heart Cheesecakes
Hearts are my favorite shape so why not make a desert I love into the shape I love? Initially, I made the mini cheesecakes because I had left over batter from a pervious full sized cheesecake that wouldn’t fit in the spring form pan. I prefer shortbread cookies as the crust but graham are cheaper and it’s what I had available.
1/3-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used 4 full sheets of honey grahams)
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 eight ounce blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 blocks chocolate almond bark
1 block white almond bark
Preheat oven to 350. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter together with a fork until evenly mixed. The mixture will not appear wet but when pressed together between the fingers should stick together.
I used a silicone baking mat featuring 24 mini hearts placed on a shallow baking pan such as a jelly roll pan AKA cookie sheet (you can use a mini muffin tray with papers).
Scoop one level teaspoon of crumb mixture into each heart.Using your fingers, firmly press the crumbs down creating an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.
While the crust is baking, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer or a bowl. Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature to avoid lumps. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together for one minute. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and the vanilla. The mixture should be smooth and the texture should be like cake batter.
After the crust has baked for 5 minutes, remove the tin from the oven and evenly fill the cups with the cheesecake batter. I filled each heart to the very top.
Bake the cheesecakes for 16-18 minutes until the center is slightly firm to touch and not jiggly. Do not worry if the tops appear to have a dome shape or are cracked.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven allow to rest on a heat safe countertop or cooking rack for 10 minutes. Place the cookie sheet and heart shaped mat in the freezer for an hour. Having them firm in the freezer will greatly assist in their removal from the silicone mat.
Carefully remove the cheesecakes one at a time. I popped them out slightly by pressing on the back of the mat, using a small icing spatula is also helpful.
Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Melt the vanilla and chocolate almond barks separately in the microwave according to the package instructions. Once melted, place about a teaspoon of chocolate almond bark on the wax paper and lightly seat a cheesecake in the middle so that the chocolate slightly gooshes out from underneath. Once all cheesecakes have been set, drizzle with the white almond bark and sprinkle with pink sprinkles. Then drizzle in the opposite direction with the remaining chocolate almond bark.
Store in an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to eat!