Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bithday-Worthy Desserts from the Confines of a College Dorm Room: Cheesecake Edition

In high school, my birthday present to all my friends was always some form of over the top, decadent dessert that didn't necessarily exist yet. I would ask them to dream up whatever elaborate concoction they desired and then scourer cookbooks and the internet and use a generous dose of ingenuity to put together everything from a Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte in cake form to a coffee cookie dough giant ice cream sandwich cake. To all my college friends, I'm sorry but without the time, space, or a kitchen full of gadgets to rival Foodnetwork that I had in high school I've been pretty limited to brownies, cookies, and the occasional cupcake when it comes to supplying the sweets for various celebrations.

That said, I'm always looking for a way to push the limit in terms of just how gourmet a dessert I can supply without having to locate difficult or expensive ingredients or remedy the fact that despite my legacy the only baking implements I've invested in are a cookie sheet and a muffin tin. I wish I could take credit for the recipe that just might be the best solution to this conundrum but to be honest I found it while browsing the blogs linked from Penn Appetit looking for inspiration for a friend's birthday this past weekend.

The recipe (and the pictures in this post) for mini cookies and cream cheesecakes can be found here -- see! only seven ingredients required and bakes in under half an hour (of course, don't forget about chilling time as hot cheesecake is not exactly appetizing).

Despite what the directions indicate, these can be made without an electric mixer if one has the right determination and a willingness to substitute baking for a trip to the gym that day.

The results were spectacular and convenient. Unlike a full-sized cake, these are easy to serve and don't even require sitting down to eat. The crowd (including the birthday girl) was so impressed I'm almost ashamed of how easy these were to make. But on the off chance someone reading this blog is inspired to make them for a party and I happen to be at said party and get to partake, I think it's worth the risk!

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