Sunday, April 4, 2010



A while ago I made Lemon Mini Cheesecakes and they were a hit. And although I love lemon-flavored anything, the orange blossoms that are filling the Valley of the Sun with its fragrance lured me into hunting down a recipe for orange-flavored mini cheesecakes. I found one on Pinch My Salt blog. No hint of tartness but a lovely sweet orange undertone. Just right for a recent bridal shower I hosted for my friend, Sharon.

You will need a mini-cheesecake pan (which I've used more times than I thought I would). These are super easy to make.

Instead of a graham cracker crust I used ginger snaps. The ginger snaps have far more flavor than the graham crackers and the combination of the light ginger taste with the orange zest fits just right.

The recipe for the whipped cream calls for Grand Marnier but I substituted orange juice instead.

1 C. graham cracker crumbs (I substituted ginger snaps for graham crackers)
2 T. brown sugar
1/3 stick melted butter

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 C. sour cream
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/3 C. sugar
finely grated zest of one orange

1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Grand Marnier (I used orange juice)
2 T. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until well combined.
3. Divide crumb mixture evenly between the 12 cups of your mini-cheesecake pan. Using your fingers or the back of a tablespoon, press crumbs firmly onto the bottom and partially up the sides of each cup; set aside.
4. Combine sugar and orange zest in a mini food processor and process until orange zest has been incorporated and sugar is fine (I mixed together with a fork and it turned out fine).
5. Using an electric mixer, blend softened cream cheese, sour cream, egg, and orange sugar together in a medium bowl. (if you skipped step 4, add both the sugar and orange zest in step 5)
6. Spoon cream cheese mixture into the twelve cups, trying to divide the mixture as evenly as possible.
7. Bake for 14 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.
8. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 20 minutes then carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and let cool completely on rack.
9. Put cheesecakes in refrigerator and chill until ready to use.
10. Just before serving, combine cream (make sure it’s very cold), grand marnier and sugar in a mixing bowl and whip, using a hand whisk or electric mixer with whisk attachment, until soft peaks form.
11. Top mini cheesecakes with dollops of grand marnier cream and serve.

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