I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for something I can bring to a potluck that’s going to tasty AND good for you AND look cute on a serving dish. (Should I not admit that? I mean … don’t you like it when stuff looks cute?)
Listen … I am not above bringing boxed brownies on occasion because the Ghirardelli Brownie Mix at Costco is just kind of perfectly easy (I sub coconut oil and use eggs from our backyard chickens so there not as bad as they could be, I guess …)
But if I want to bring something that looks and tastes good, and my gluten-free friends can enjoy, these are my go-to.
At least they are now.
NOTE TO SELF: Apparently a little recipe testing apparently goes a long way because these Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo-friendly dessert bites don’t feel like they are missing any of the decadence of any other sugar and grain-laden dessert. And that makes me happy. Especially the plain ones. The chocolates are good. But the plain ones … yeah … I can’t be alone near the dessert table when there’s mini cheesecake bites.
Plain and Chocolate Cheesecake Bites
- 1 c. hazelnut meal (or almond meal)
- 1 TBLS pure maple powder
- 3 TBLS melted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese (two 8-ounce packages)
- 2 tsp. stevia
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 large eggs (room temp)
- 1 TBLS raw cacau
- 8 oz whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp. stevia
- 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)
Line two mini-muffin tins with 24 muffin liners
First comes the crust: Stir together all the dry ingredients and then dd melted butter. Mix until thoroughly combined
Add one heaping teaspoon to each liner and press down into the liner. (Reserve leftover crust mix to sprinkle on top of the cupcakes.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes (until very lightly browned).
Remove from the oven and cool while preparing the filling.
For the filling: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and stevia at medium speed until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and salt. Then beat in the eggs on low, until well incorporated.
At this point, using about half of the batter, fill the liners of ONE of the mini-cupcake tins with the plain cheesecake batter. If you’re only making plain cheesecakes, fill the second tin. If you’re looking for a mix of chocolate and plain, replace the bowl of the stand mixer and to the second half of the mixture add the cacau. Mix until well-blended and then fill the second tin’s liners with the chocolate batter.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the centers of the cheesecakes don’t jiggle when the pan is tapped. Open the oven door (at least 1 foot wide) and let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature – about 1.5 hours.
For the whipped topping, combine the heavy cream, stevia and vanilla in a clean stand mixer bowl and whip until peaks form. I load the whipped cream into a ziplock bag, cut the end off one corner and then use my pseudo pastry bag to top each mini-cupcake and then sprinkle with just a pinch of the reserved crust crumble.
Refrigerate for up to 2 days.