I've made these cheesecakes several times, and I think I've finally perfected it. At least that's what my taste testers (mom and boyfriend) said. This time around I used Mascarpone cheese in place of one brick of cream cheese and the final dessert was lighter and less tangy than the original recipe. It's a keeper!
These are really easy and fun to make, and they're always the talk of the party. They're great for birthday parties, socials, and dinner parties. You can experiment with different toppings or mix fresh fruit into the cheesecake itself...Or better yet, let your guests top their glasses with their choice of topping. Shot glasses can get expensive. If you want to keep it budget-friendly and easy to clean up, buy a pack of plastic shot glasses. I like to use candle votives instead of actual shot glasses. I find that they're a bit larger, and you can buy a whole case of them for much less than shot glasses.
Mix the cheesecake 'batter' and the graham cracker crust.
Press the crust into the bottom of the glass, I like to use a tart press. Don't pack it too tight. Just enough to hold it's shape.
Here's a trick of the trade: Place your pastry bag in a tall drinking glass, fold down the top of the bag over the sides of the glass and fill with the batter.
Pull the top up of the bag, twist to close and cut the tip
And smooth the top of each cheesecake with a small spatula
Top with your choice of fruit preserves, ice cream topping, jams or fresh fruit.
No-Bake Shot Glass Cheesecakes
Yields about 20
16 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese, slightly softened
3 cups Cool-Whip
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 jars of any fruit ice cream topping, jam, or preserves
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. The crumbs should be moist, but not wet, and should hold together when pressed in place. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat in 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar. Slowly mix in the Cool-Whip, and then remaining 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar. Slowly mix in enough milk to make the batter the consistency of a fluffy frosting.
Spoon the cheesecake batter into a piping bag. Cut the tip where the bags width is about 3/4 inch.
Drop 1 tablespoon of graham cracker crust into each shot glass and press down with the tablespoon or something flat. (I used a tart press) Place the tip of the pastry bag into each shot glass, squeeze and fill the glass with one lifting motion (this ensures the glass fills evenly), leaving 3/4 inch at the top unfilled. Use the back of the spoon or a small spatula to smooth the top of the cheesecake. Finally, spoon the fruit topping over the cheesecake, almost to the rim of the glass. Wipe off the edges with a damp cloth. Keep refrigerated.