A buddy of mine requested that I make a treat for a fundraiser that she participated in a few weeks ago. I so enjoy being asked to help out for such things.
It was a wine tasting, so I wanted to bake something that wasn't too intense in the flavor category and would pair well with the wine. Cheese and wine go well together; chocolate and wine do, too. So cheesecake bites seemed like a winner. I'm hesitant to call them Cheesecake Balls because I merely scooped them and did not roll them into balls, so one side is flat.
I snagged the recipe for a basic cheesecake from Kraft and then searched around the Internets for a few ideas on how to best scoop/finish the balls. The results were pretty much what I had expected to find.
I made the cheesecake the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I heard somewhere that it lets the "flavors mingle" or something like that. Also, I just didn't have the time the next day to let it cool completely.
- 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1c graham cracker crumbs
- chocolate baking bark
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Add in eggs one at a time and beat on low until fully incorporated.
- Pour cheesecake mixture into a 9x13 pan (greasing is unnecessary as you are just going to be scooping the balls directly from the pan). And bake until the center is almost set.
- Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Using your ridiculously convenient 2t cookie scoop, scoop out cheesecake balls. (Like I said, I didn't shape them other than smashing them in the cookie scoop; they were just too sticky). You should yield around 90 bites. (I so didn't make them all).
- Roll the cheesecake in the graham cracker crumbs and let chill in fridge for and hour.
- Melt baking bark and coat each bite in chocolate.
I heard that they were well received. And I heard some people grabbed snagged a few left over cheesecake bites to take home with them. These treats are low key and easily adaptable: they could easily be made gluten free if you don't roll them in graham crackers, and you can choose to add a number of things to the cheesecake (flavorings, fruit, candy, etc.)