Earlier today I was discussing baked goods with my friend Zack (we don’t like them). This whole conversation came out of a discussion of birthday cakes (it’s my birthday today, we were just randomly discussing cakes). I like savory things much better. Personally I would be much happier if someone gave me a wheel of brie or blue cheese, stuck a candle in it and called it a day. There is one exception to my dessert rule and that would be cheesecake. I do like cheesecake.
This isn’t your typical cheesecake. There is blue cheese involved, which is initially why I wanted to make this. Combining my favorite cheese and my favorite dessert just seemed like a brilliant idea. I was slightly hesitant about the fact that there is no sugar added into the cheesecake. One of them fell apart when I was removing them from the muffin tin and I stole a bite and it was not a good idea. Luckily when I served them with the pears, it was a very enjoyable (and unusual) combination. I had enough crust for 14 cheesecakes, but only enough filling for 13. I would recommend only doing 12 as some of my came out a little thin on the cheesecake end of things. Luckily I like my cheesecake on the crustier side of things, so I wasn’t too bothered by that.
Baby Cheese Cakes with Toffee Pears
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup dairy sour cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 4 pears, cored and sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted broken walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with foil or paper bake cups; set aside.
- For crust, in bowl stir together oats, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until combined. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons oat mixture into each prepared muffin cup. With bottom of a narrow glass press down lightly. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- For cheesecake filling, in medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Add egg and beat just until combined. Stir in blue cheese and sour cream.
- Spoon well-rounded tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each crust-lined muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and set. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from cups. Place on tray, cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- For Toffee Pears, in large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir until bubbly. Add pears. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
- To serve, remove foil or paper liners from cheesecakes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon brown sugar-cream mixture into each of the dessert dishes. Top with a cheesecake. Spoon pears around cheesecake. Sprinkle each with toasted walnuts.