The blog post and the dessert!
I do not know what possessed me to buy a mini cheesecake pan. I think I got carried away by the bargain I found. I prefer to spend my dollars on quality multi-functional gear versus very specialized cooking equipment. But there I was in Beall's Outlet (Floridians know what I'm talking about) spending $8 for a mini cheesecake pan (they normally run around $25) by Chicago Metallics.
Since I now was the dubiously proud owner of said mini cheesecake pan, I set to work developing a dessert recipe to bake in my prize. I think I just needed to justify the purchase to myself. To add to this humorous tale, I don't even like cheesecake. I dislike how dense cheesecake feels in my mouth. I also find most cheesecake to be terribly bland. If I'm going to eat those kind of calories (the sweet kind) I want to splurge on something I really love, not just something I find to be "meh".
So back to the recipe development....I first tinkered with the graham cracker crust and added some Vietnamese cinnamon. For a filling, I started fairly typical - cream cheese, sour cream, eggs - then bumped up the vanilla and added more of that cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt for balance. The icing on the cake so to speak was topping each mini cheesecake before serving with a pecan half and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. I think I hit upon a unique little cheesecake baby that provides a reason to own a mini cheesecake pan. Should you not be the owner of such a device, the same recipe works equally well in a regular muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups.
Crust: 1 C graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 C sugar, 5 Tbs melted butter, 1 tsp cinnamon
Filling: 14 oz cream cheese, 3/4 C sugar, 1/3 C sour cream, 1 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 eggs
You can find the complete recipe by creating an account on my website www.floridakelskitchen.com and logging in. (I can't figure out how to give you a link!)
Funny post script: the dang thing does not fit anywhere nicely in my little kitchen. I left it out on the table for a few weeks trying to figure out where to put it. My daughter, home from college early due to COVID-19, says "Mom, just do what we do in our college dorm kitchen... chuck it up in a cabinet and slam the door." Sadly, that's what I ended up doing.