September 5, 2012

Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 sleeves of graham cracker crumbs (about 18 whole crackers)
8 TBS. butter, room temperature (1 stick)
2 TBS  sugar

1-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
12 TBS. butter, room temperature ( 1-1/2 sticks)
1 cup  + 2 TBS. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
4 large egg whites
2 cups fresh berries (and more for garnish if desired) (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries hulled and chopped, etc)  I used frozen raspberries

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature (16 ounces total)
16 TBS butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
3- 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1.  Preheat oven to 325 ℉ and line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

2.  For the Graham Cracker Crust:  Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter using a food processor.  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the crushed graham cracker into the bottom of each prepared muffin tin.  Press down using fingers and bake for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned.  Remove immediately from oven and set aside to cool.

3.  For the Cupcakes:  In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then add the vanilla and beat on a low-speed. Then add half the flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in the sour cream. Add remaining flour mixture and  mix until just blended.

4.  In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, and glossy peaks appear, about 3-4 minutes, be careful not to overbeat. Set aside.

5.  Gently fold 1/3 of the egg into the batter until combined, do not over mix the egg whites or the cake will fall flat. Add remaining egg and fold in the berries. Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way and bake for about 20 minutes depending on your oven. You can test to see if they are done by sticking a toothpick through the center, if it comes out clean they are done.

6.  For the cream cheese frosting:  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar slowly in small batches, beating on low speed until incorporated. Once all sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for 1 hour. When ready to serve, spread icing on cupcakes or use a pastry bag with a star tip. Garnish with fresh berries and left over graham cracker crumbs if desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

From Tortillas and Honey

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