Friday, May 10, 2013

Light & Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecake

I love cheesecake, but even if you substitute reduced fat cream cheese for the full fat in a recipe, the calorie and fat count can be staggering!  In this makeover recipe, I used one block of lower fat Neufchatel cream cheese and combined it with 1 cup of fat-free cottage cheese, which reduced the fat and calories from a traditional cheesecake recipe considerably.  Also, by using Splenda instead of white sugar, the carb count dropped by over 50%.  I am so pleased with the result.  Topped with "no sugar added" cherry pie filling, I can have my cheesecake and eat it, too!

Light & Easy Mini Cherry Cheesecake
Makes 10 servings

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese (or reduced fat cream cheese in a block, not whipped)
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
2/3 cup Splenda granular (or other sugar subtitute of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 eggs
10 chocolate wafer or Nilla wafer cookies (I used Nabisco Famous Chocolate wafers)
1-1/4 cups no sugar added cherry pie filling (I used Lucky Leaf brand)

1. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Place a paper cupcake liner into 10 muffin cups of a baking tin.  Place one wafer cookie into each lined cup; set aside.

2. In a blender, blend together the first six ingredients (cream cheese through eggs) and blend until smooth.  Pour into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 to 3/4 full.  Bake for 22-24 minutes or until set. 

3. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack until room temperature.  Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.  Top each with 2 tablespoons of the no sugar added pie filling & serve.  (You may substitute fresh fruit as topping, if desired.)

Nutritional Information per serving: 137 calories, 10.3 g carbohydrate (0.2 g dietary fiber, 4.8 g sugars), 7.2 g total fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 236 mg sodium, 42.7 mg calcium, 41 mg potassium, 6.5 g protein.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2013

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