Martha Stewart Cupcake Calendar: Cheesecakes with Raspberry Hearts

Can you believe February is halfway over? I tackled my Martha Stewart Cupcake Calendar challenge early this month so they would be ready in time for Valentine’s day.  They were very well received. Cheesecake is great but who wants a big hunk of cheesecake without a proportionate bite of graham cracker crust? According to my testers (and I agree), it’s all about the crust.  This recipe ensures the proper crust to cheesecake proportion. Plus, the hearts are pretty adorable. Of course, mine don’t look the way Martha’s did but I think they came close and were definitely recognizable.  I cut the original recipe in half because we did not need 32 little cakes but you can go to her site (linked below) and get the full recipe.

Cheesecakes with Raspberry Hearts

by Martha Stewart
Makes 16

Ingredients
3/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 6)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 container (3 ounces) fresh raspberries
1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together crackers, butter, and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar; press 1 tablespoon into bottom of each cup. Bake until set and beginning to color at edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer tins to rack to cool.
2. Puree raspberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Press through a fine sieve; discard solids. Whisk in 1 tablespoons sugar.
3. With mixer on medium-high, beat cream cheese until fluffy. On low, add remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a slow stream. Mix in salt and vanilla until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each (do not over mix) and scraping bowl.
4. Spoon 3 tablespoons of filling over crust in each cup. Drop two dots of raspberry puree about 1 inch apart in each cupcake. Drag the tip of a toothpick down through the centers of dots to create a heart.
5. To bake, set tins in oven in roasting pans filled half-way with hot water; bake until set, about 34 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer tins to racks to cool completely. refrigerate in tins, uncovered, at least 4 hours; remove from tins.
Refrigerate in airtight containers up to 5 days.

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