Updated: Jun 3, 2021
These stunning little desserts are both delicious and beautiful. Serve them up for a romantic Valentine's treat.
When looking for ways to make Valentine's Day special, I often turn to edible treats. They're beautiful, easy to make, and show my honey that I care without breaking the bank. They also don't get thrown in a drawer and never touched again like many traditional gifts available in stores.
Strawberry and cheesecake are two of my honey's favorite flavors, so these are a big win in my house. They're also a lot easier to make than a whole cheesecake and come with built-in portion control. On top of that, they freeze well, so you can have as much as you want today and save the rest for your next special occasion. Or for a Friday night snack.
Start by blitzing the cookies into crumbs in a food processor (or by putting them in a bag and bashing them with a rolling pin). Vanilla wafers are good, but almost any type of cookie you like will work. I've used sandwich wafer cookies and gingerbread as well, and both were delicious. Gently melt your butter and chocolate over low heat. When they're just melted, stir in the cookie crumbs. Spoon a bit of the mixture into each muffin cup and press it down with the back of a spoon. Compacting it will help everything hold together once baked.
Blend your room-temp cream cheese with the eggs, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the cups on top of your cookie base. Then, add about a teaspoon of jam on top. Strawberry is a classic, but try your favorite flavors, or even blends! Lemon curd, apricot, raspberry, or even Nutella could make a delicious combo.
Think about your design when you place your jam. If you want an abstract swirl or flower, dollop it right in the middle. For a heart, it works better to place your jam toward the top, then swirl it into an oval on the top 2/3 of your cup. Then, use your chopstick to drag a line from the top, through your oval, to the bottom. This should form a swirly heart.
Once all your cheesecakes are swirled, pop them in a 350 degree oven for 20-22 minutes. These also work beautifully in mini-muffin size. If you go small, 7-10 minutes is plenty. After baking, pop them in the fridge to set up and chill before serving.
Sweet Honey Cheesecake Bites
5 oz vanilla cookies (or any cookies you like)
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
⅓ cup pure raw honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 teaspoons strawberry preserves (or flavor of your choice)
Preheat oven to 350° F. Set out 12 silicone muffin cups (or line a muffin tray with 12 liner cups).
Gently melt butter and chocolate. Crush cookies in a food processor until they're crumbled. Stir chocolate and butter until smooth, then stir in cookie crumbs. Put cookie mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, dividing evenly between cups. It will be around 1-2 Tablespoons in each cup. Press the crumbs down to help them hold together when baked.
Beat together cream cheese, eggs, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups.
Add about 1 teaspoon of strawberry preserves on top of each mini-cheesecake. Use a chopstick, skewer, or toothpick to create a swirling pattern. If you want to get fancy for your Valentine, run the chopstick through your swirl once at the end to create a heart shape.
Bake at 350° F for 20-22 minutes, or until set.
Allow bites to cool on the counter, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving chilled.
Store your bites in the refrigerator for up to a week. To store for longer, freeze individual bites, then wrap frozen bites and store them in a freezer bag or box. Thaw individual bites in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight when you're ready to eat them.
Always make sure you're buying pure honey or raw honey. Many products labeled as "honey" are actually a blend of honey with other sugary compounds, usually corn-syrup. These do NOT have the same properties and are NOT good for you. Buy the real thing to get the genuine benefits of raw honey. All Don Victor Honey is pure raw honey. It's the good stuff.
If you're feeling adventurous, you could try using flavored honey instead of pure honey. The flavorings added to the honey could be a nice complement to the other flavors in the dessert.
Treat yourself (or your honey) with these beautiful cheesecake bites, and enjoy a day to celebrate love!
Is there a flavor you like more than strawberry? Have you tried it out? Let us know!
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