I know Valentine’s Day was yesterday, but I wasn’t able to get the cheesecakes done in time to actually post about them in time. Regardless, this is a great recipe and perfect for any special occasion. I don’t have a springform pan, so I decided working with muffin tins would be the safest and easiest way to go. This recipe is super easy, and not nearly as overwhelming as you might believe cheesecakes to be.
The two main cheeses I used for this recipe were Neufchatel cheese and reduced fat cottage cheese. I didn’t know what Neufchatel cheese was until I looked further into it. Here’s some history…It originated in France as a soft, grainy textured cheese. In 1872, a New York dairyman created the first batch of cream cheese (as we know it today) as a result of an attempt to make Neufchatel cheese. The difference between the two, the French version uses only milk while the American version uses both milk and cream. Also, here is America we pasteurize the cheese, whereas in France they don’t. The main difference between cream cheese and Neufchatel cheese is the fat content. I’ve learned that in order to qualify as “cream cheese” it needs to be at least 33% milk fat and 55% moisture content. Neufchatel cheese is 23% milk fat and has a slightly higher moisture content.* Due to it’s lower fat content, it is advertised that way in grocery stores. The packaging looks almost identical to regular cream cheese. Source: *thektchen.com ** The New Food Lovers Companion
Okie, here is the recipe!
- 1 cups honey graham cracker crumbs, (about 5 sheets)
- 1 tsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 8oz. packages of Neufchatel cheese
- 16oz. reduced fat cottage cheese
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven 325F
- Line muffin tin with paper baking cups
- Prepare graham cracker crust first by placing crackers inside of a baggie. Pound them out until they are transformed to dusty crumbs.
- Pour crumbs into a mixing bowl and add honey and butter.
- Mix ingredients together with a wooden spoon until a crumbly substance is formed. Crumbs should be slightly moist.
- Spoon 1-2 tbsp. into each muffin cup. Then press crumbs down with your fingers to ensure crust is packed down.
- In another mixing bowl, place the Neufchatel cheese, cottage cheese, sugar, and vanilla. With an electric mixer, mix ingredients together until most lumps have disappeared.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing each egg into the batter before cracking the next.
- Once batter is a smooth consistency, pour into muffin tin.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake has set and there is little to no jiggle.
- Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Something you can do to ensue no cracking, or very little cracking is to place your muffin tin over a cookie sheet with a little bit of water on it. A common reason for cracking is that the cheesecakes dry out. This water bath method helps prevent cracking because it evenly distributes the heat across the muffin tins and keeps it moisturized.
These cheesecakes came out amazingly. They had the perfect thick, moussey texture, and sweet, creamy flavor. I highly recommend giving these a go.
Also, remember it is cheesecake, so no it is not the healthiest dessert in the whole world. But, remember it is also important to treat yourself once in a while. The good news is, this recipe does save you a lot of calories and fat compared to a regular full fat cheesecake. Look, check it out!
So, there you have it, healthier options! YAY! Well, I hope you all had a very happy and healthy Valentine’s Day and that you’re friends, family, and significant others were extra nice to you! Enjoy the rest of the weekend and remember that you should treat the special people in your life the way you would on Valentine’s Day, everyday!
Happy Valentine’s Day!