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Dig In . . . It's National Cheesecake Day

While it's an unofficial holiday, most people would agree that National Cheesecake Day is worth celebrating. After all, who doesn't love cheesecake. Baked, unbaked, flavored, topped or drizzled, there are plenty of cheesecake recipes that are delicious and braces-friendly. Whether you make yours from scratch or you pick one up at your favorite bakery or restaurant, eat and enjoy without guilt. After all, National Cheesecake Day only comes once a year!

We're helping you kick off your celebration with this recipe, courtesy of The Braces Cookbook, by Pamela Waterman.

Lime-Graham Cheesecake Nibbles

Kick start your taste buds with these tangy lime cheesecakes layered into cupcake papers. The easy crust combines graham cracker crumbs with melted margarine, and the fluffy filling gets its zip from real lime juice. For an even "spicier" version, substitute finely crushed gingersnaps for the grahams.

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 double-square crackers, crushed)
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine, melted

Or

  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 24-30 gingersnap cookies, crushed)
  • 3 Tablespoons margarine, melted

Filling:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes.

Line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake papers. In a medium bowl, stir together the crumbs and margarine. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each paper. Press down the mixture firmly with the bottom of a small juice glass.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites and the salt until the mixture forms soft peaks. Set aside. In a large bowl, use the mixer to beat together the cream cheese, sugar, food coloring, lime juice and flour until fluffy. Add the egg yolks until well mixed; then use a spoon to gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the filling into each paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on the counter for 20 minutes, then keep refrigerated. Makes two dozen.

Optional: Once cooled, top your cupcakes with whipped cream and decorate with green sprinkles or coconut.

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