Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday~Valentine Treats-Pudding Cheesecake

I have 3 recipes I want to try out and share this week, so far I've got 1 done, so I'll post the others as I make them.  The first: No Bake Pudding Cheesecakes!

First, I must confess...I am not a cheesecake person.  Give me a choice between cheesecake and any other dessert and I'll pretty much take the other option.  Give me a choice between Polish cheesecake and a hairball...it's a tough call.  I can't stand Polish cheesecake about 10x more than American.  Their cream cheese texture is funky, there's very little sugar, and someone thought it was a good idea to put raisins and other dried fruits into the cheesecake....ick!  But back to American cheesecake: I think it's just too thick and rich for me.  In small quantities, I'm starting to get used to it. 

I was pondering on the topic of Valentine's Day dessert ideas and thinking of what I had on hand.  I have pudding that needs to be eaten from our food storage...what can I do with pudding?  Being less than fanatic about cheesecake, I will confess I have never personally made no-bake cheesecake, but I have had mini versions that others have made in cupcake tins with oreo or graham cracker crusts.  I decided to give it a go.

First, I put the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan to help them keep their shape and then put an oreo on the bottom of each liner.  In retrospect, I could have used just 1/2 of the oreos and it would have been sufficient and less awkward when eating.  The nice thing about this recipe is its versatility.  You can choose chocolate oreos or the vanilla kind.  The pudding can be minty, fruity, chocolatey...whatever floats your boat!

It's an easy ratio to remember for the filling.  1 box instant pudding (3.4 ounce size-the small box), 1 block of cream cheese (8 ounces), and 1 cup of milk.  I doubled the recipe and it made 17 mini cheesecakes. 

So I softened my cream cheese and ran it in the food processor with my milk.  I took half of the cheese/milk mixture out and put it in another bowl (2 cups) because I wanted to do 2 flavors.  In this picture I have the reserved mix on the left, and the other half on the right with the packet of vanilla instant pudding mix in it.  I was surprised by how quickly it thickened up the mix...I guess they don't call it instant pudding for nothing!
I spooned the mix in the cupcake liners on top of the oreos.  If you don't care what your cheesecakes look like....feel free to follow in my footsteps.  I hadn't expected it to be so thick and my brain wasn't properly functioning, otherwise I would have grabbed a pastry bag (or ziplock with a corner snipped off) and piped it in so it looked nice.  Mine are less than impressive.

I mixed my second flavor (candy cane) and spooned it on top of the vanilla layer. 
I thought about adding a little red food coloring to enhance the pink factor but decided against it.
Pop these puppies in the fridge for about an hour and when you take them out, they can be decorated or devoured as is.  You can drizzle or spoon on more traditional topics as well of course.

These are best when served cold and these came up to about 195 calories per mini cheesecake. 

Not the prettiest thing....but you can see the layers.  If you freeze them for a while then you can carefully peel off the liner and you have the cute ridges of the liner in the cheesecake (NOT like pictured above ;) )  Also, it tastes kinda good slightly frozen. 

So a short recap:
1:1:1 ratio-creamcheese:milk:pudding mix.
Pipe the filling, don't spoon it into the liners!
Freeze slightly before serving.
195 calories each for 17 (double batch) using 2% milk, regular cream cheese, regular pudding mixes.

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