These cheesecakes are a great Valentine's treat, my valentine(s) sure loved them last year! I mean, they're sweet AND red. Bella loves anything with strawberries. I love cheesecake more than I love most.. things, but at most restaurants its filled with a ton of fat and sugar. Which is fine because it's DESSERT, but what isn't fine is the giant serving sizes that make you up waste your entire day's calories on one item (I'm looking at YOU, cheesecake factory!). These cakes are super sweet yet contain no sugar (I used Baking Splenda) and are cupcake sized so you get to enjoy your treat while still watching portions. Some people are really opposed to using fake sugar (Aspartame) but my valentine who is also a chemist assures me I would have to eat a LOT more Splenda to see any negative effects. I know that I don't normally listen to his scientific ramblings but this one benefits me :) I've also made these cheesecakes with non-fat cream cheese and while they tasted pretty good, the consistency was just terrible. So don't make my mistakes, okay? Learn from me.
- 16 oz. Cream Cheese. (You could use half low-fat cheese here and still be okay)
- 1 C. Splenda for Baking + 1/2 C. for topping. Note: you could use regular sugar here if you so desire, just know the calories will be higher.
- 2 Eggs
- 12 Vanilla Wafers
- 2 Cups Fresh Strawberries
- 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbs. Orange Juice
- Dash of Salt
To Make Topping:
1. Cut strawberries into bite-size pieces.
2. Coat with 1/2 C. Baking Splenda (you may not use all of the splenda).
3. Mix 2 tbs. orange juice and 1 tsp. vanilla into strawberry mixture. Add dash of salt.
4. Cover, refrigerate for at least an hour.
To Make Cheesecakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place a muffin cup into each of 12 muffin tins and put a vanilla wafer (flat side down) in each.
3. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in 1 C. baking splenda and 1 tsp. vanilla extract, beating well. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
4. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes.
5. Let cool completely then put in refrigerator for at least an hour.
(note: my cakes were cracked after baking but after putting them in the fridge, they sort of welded back together. Plus, once you put the strawberries on top, you can't tell. stupid high altitude)
Before serving, spoon strawberry topping on the cakes and enjoy! Or give them away as presents so you don't eat them all, which has been my strategy :)