Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

Photo Credit: Romulo Yanes & Philippa Brathwaite

  • 30 vanilla wafers
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 12 ounces (⅓-less-fat) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • teaspoon flake salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Place cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground crumbs measure about 1 cup. Add oil; pulse to combine. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin well with cooking spray. Spoon about 1 packed tablespoon crumb mixture into each muffin cup; press crumbs firmly into bottom. Bake at 300° for 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool.
  3. Wipe food processor clean. Place brown sugar, yogurt, and cream cheese in processor; process until smooth. Add vanilla, table salt, and eggs; process until smooth. Spoon about 3 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 300° for 18 minutes or until centers of cheesecakes barely move when pan is touched. Remove pan from oven; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover pan; refrigerate cheesecakes 3 hours or until well chilled.
  4. Run a thin knife around outside edge of each cheesecake. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pan; place on a platter. Chill cheesecakes until ready to serve.
  5. Combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 3 minutes). Continue cooking 12 minutes or until the color of light brown sugar (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in butter and milk (caramelized sugar will harden and stick to spoon). Place pan over medium-high heat until caramelized sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; cool caramel to room temperature. Cover and chill 1 hour or until slightly thickened. Spoon about 1 tablespoon caramel over each cheesecake. Sprinkle cheesecakes evenly with flake salt.

Note: Serves 12

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