Real Food for Real Life

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

National Teacher Appreciation Day...

Low Fat Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Mini

 Christopher:  Why are you making those?
Mom:  For a lunch for your teachers.
Christopher:  But why?
Dad:  To bribe them so they will let you pass this year.
Christopher:  (angry eyebrows)

Today, Tuesday, May 7, is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and Christopher's school is having an appreciation lunch today.  Recruited by a friend to provide a dish for the luncheon, I said yes with no hesitation.  Teachers are beautiful, hardworking people who have chosen a difficult and under-appreciated profession, so there was no question that I would help out.  And my son's teachers?  Well, they put up with him, so enough said  :)

But then she said she wanted a desert.

I had assumed she wanted a savory dish (and we all know he saying about assumptions).  Regular readers know that deserts are not my forte and I rarely make them...to the deprivation of my children according to the above mentioned Christopher.  Ben suggested mini cheesecakes which sounded like a fine idea.  He also suggested full fat, full sugar ones, which didn't sound like such a fine idea.  This recipe is for 12, so double or triple if necessary.

Low Fat Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Minis
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

12 small chocolate wafer cookies 
1 8oz pkg. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 8oz pkg. fat free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Splenda Sugar blend
large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
5 Tbsp. raspberry preserves, divided use
2oz (about) dark chocolate chunks
6oz pkg. fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cream the sugar blend, salt, vanilla and cream cheese with a mixer until well blended and fluffy.  Introduce the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.  Line a (1/2 cup-12 capacity or two 6 capacity) muffin tin with foil  cupcake liners.  Place a small chocolate wafer cookie into the bottom of each cup.

Note:  The wafer cookies I found at Kroger were too large for the liners, so I dismantled some store brand "Oreos" and used the stuffing free half for this purpose.  The stuffed halves I stuck together to make "double stuffeds" and let the boy have them.
Top each cookie with a teaspoon of the raspberry preserves (you could sub sugar free preserves here easily).
Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the liners and top each "cake" with 4 chocolate chunks, pressing them into the surface of the batter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until almost set- they will still be a bit jiggly, but will firm when chilled. Remove from the oven and let cool at least a half hour so they are no longer hot to the touch.  In a microwave safe bowl, warm one tablespoon raspberry preserves with a splash of water just long enough to melt, about 15 seconds.  Stir to make a glaze for the raspberries and very GENTLY toss in the berries to coat lightly (a heavy hand here will mash the berries, and while still delicious, it would not be as pretty). Top each cake with an equal portion of the glazed berries, probably 3 or 4 berries each.   Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Doesn't that look good?  Now if I had only thought to pick up some fresh mint with which to garnish.
Packaged for safe transport to school.  I used one of those short boxes that contain condensed soups at the grocery and covered it with foil.  The perfect size for two dozen cakes so I'll be stashing a few of these aside when I find them.

WW PointsPlus Breakdown

These were 5 points each as made.
If you use all fat free cream cheese they would be 4 points, and also using stevia instead of the sugar blend would bring them down to a miserly 3 points each.  I plan to make some plain ones (Ben's preference) in this manner, but will sub gingersnaps for the chocolate wafers and add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the batter.

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