Small

Lately, I’ve been feeling small. Not just short in stature (a good pair of 5″ heels can quickly fix that problem). No… small like I take up little space, time, or thought in the lives of the people around me.

Diminutive. Inadequate. Inconsequential. Inconsiderable. Insufficient. Limited. Meager. Paltry. Pitiful. Poor. Puny. Runty. Scrubby. Stunted. Tiny. Toy. Trifling. Trivial.

All words found when I looked up the definition of “small.”

But you know what else was used to define the word small? Words like humble, modest, mini, petite, unpretentious, wee, and youthful.  Diminutive words can be literal or metaphorical, and while they sometimes suggest condescension they are often terms of endearment or affection, familiarity or intimacy.

Hmmm…. Maybe I need to change the way I look at “small.”

I’d be quite flattered if the people around me thought I was unpretentious and youthful. (We all know that while I’m shorter, I’ll never be petite. Gotta thank those maternal genes for that one.) Modest and humble sound pretty complementary too. And what is wrong with being mini? Nothing. Case in point: these mini Almond Joy Cheesecakes. Good things afterall, do come in small packages.

Almond Joy Cheesecakes

Mini Almond Joy Cheesecakes  (source: Maryanna Bishop)

Ingredients:
Crust

  • 3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 C sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/4 C sliced almonds, toasted
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted

Glaze

  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping/Garnish

  • Almonds
  • Toasted coconut
  • Whipped cream
  • Or anything else you think will look pretty

Directions:
For the Crust
(This recipe can be made in a mini cheesecake pan or in a muffin pan with or without papers. I made mine in a mini cheesecake pan and ended up with 20 cute cheesecakes.)

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, pulse the graham crumbs, almonds, and coconut to a fine crumb. With the machine running, slowly add the melted butter and pulse until it resembles moist sand. You might not need all the butter.
  • Divide the crumb mixture into the holes of your mini cheesecake pan (or muffin cups) then press evenly onto bottom of each hole of the pan.
  • Bake crust in middle of oven for about 5 minutes and cool in a pan on a rack.
  • Reduce oven heat to 325-degrees.

Filling

  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. About three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the coconut extract.
  • Gently fold in the toasted almonds and coconut with a spatula until well combined.
  • Transfer the filling to the cooled crust and bake for about 25 until the crust is puffy and lightly browned. But don’t over bake; no one wants a dried out cheesecake; no matter how cute and mini.
  • Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack in the mini cheesecake pan. Once they are COMPLETELY cool, remove them from the pan. You can also store them in the fridge in your baking pan if you wish.

Glaze

  • Combine the chocolate chips, cream, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes or so). Spread the chocolate evenly over the cooled cheesecakes. (Note: if they are not completely cooled, the chocolate will just run off).
  • Chill the cheesecakes overnight before serving. They taste best when the flavors have sat and melded. If you store the mini cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge they should keep a couple days. I didn’t try freezing them but I’m sure that would work fine, just don’t garnish them until you want to eat them.

Note: I often include nutritional information. In this post, I will not.  Have you seen that ingredient list? I think I’m better off not knowing…. (thankfully I baked these full fat babies for a party and didn’t have any left lurking in my house, whispering my name every time I walked by the fridge)

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2 thoughts on “Small

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