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Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

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The holidays are here and with them come a multitude of parties- yea.. three for me this past weekend, and more to come in the next week.  All of them, no doubt, will have a make-shift buffet of festive delicious-ness.  Only do these purely delectable holiday goodies come about in the weeks before the Reason for the Season.  One may think up the perfect tactic avoiding temptation– steer clear of all the special treats and divert yourself to hover around the lonesome vegetable tray.  Sad to say- but it is so true.  Poor celery.  You are so stringy and left out.  Sorry sweet cherry tomato tends to be more popular. 

A very real depiction of one (of three!) holiday family gatherings this weekend- we were quite busy.  

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While this genius tactic seems great in theory, it is far from perfect in practice. Over the next week I would like to provide you with tips and tricks for enjoying yourself this holiday.  Not all cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are created equal. A rich cup of egg nog clocks in at 450 calories for just 6 ounces, and the cheese and cracker tray- a true party favorite can become meal-sized (about 420 calories, to be exact) after just a few bites.. Boo. 

Eating smart during the holidays doesn’t mean you need to steer clear of the party spread.   Between my calorie knowledge, (more of) my sweet treats (yes, I am so kind- I accept hugs.) and yumm-o savory appetizers you’ll be able to make wise choices and, who knows, maybe even indulge a little.  Plus, you’ll be set to serve something healthy and just as delicious as an original- just a minor a health tweak is all.  No one will have the slightest inkling that any one of them doesn’t boast the calories of a Big Mac.  Or, at least they wont get the nerve to tell you they did.  Even so, arriving back at home with empty serving trays-says something, right?    

Take these mini cakes, for example.  How about a dessert with built-in portion control?  Talk about genius.  They’re the perfect addition to a cocktail party dessert table, classy, but still can be eaten without a fork. Enjoy a little something sweet to deliver satisfaction in just a bite or two. Plus, I’ve made use of some popular holiday convenience products, to make it super easy on you.  I could probably make this somewhat healthier.. but the instructions and ingredient list would probably turn you off. 

Feel free to shoot me an email if you would like one of your favorite holiday dishes ‘health-tweaked’

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes 

For the crust
1 package (16.5-ounce) refrigerated cookie dough (I used sugar cookie in this instance)
For the topping
1 1/4 cups (6-ounces) fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
For the filling
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 can (14-ounce) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Paper-line cupcake pans.  Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup.  Bake until cookie has spread to the edges of the cup, 10-12 minutes.

To make the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla until smooth (about 5 minutes).

To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the cookie-crust in each cupcake liner. Dot a 1 teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

Bake until the filling is set, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 1 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information
Serves: 24 (1 mini cake, each)
Calories: 192
Fat: 8 g
Carbphydrate: 14 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 3 g

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