Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter "Cheesecake" Baskets

It is Easter Basket time again for all the little children (and 15 year olds).  We celebrated Easter last weekend, since the girls will be away Easter weekend for volleyball.

We have a tradition at our house that started when the girls were born.  Since we are not really into the overload of candy in the baskets and Easter arrives in the spring, each year the girls get new swimsuits in their baskets to start the summer off.

There is also either a new piece of jewelry, hair accessories, nail polish and lip gloss to top them off.

This year I did bend a bit and put in some extra special candy.  I have become addicted to the television show "The Profit" and saw an episode last month on Sweet Pete's in Jacksonville, Florida.  It was such a charming and touching story of a husband and wife team and the American Dream of owning your own business.

I couldn't resist when I went to their website the next day and saw these darling little gift of course, "Add To Cart" I did.

I also made my traditional Mini Cheesecake Easter Baskets that I have been making since forever.  I love these adorable desserts.  Perfectly proportioned and so festive for the spring season.

Mini Cheesecake Baskets
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

12  NILLA Wafers (I used lemon flavored ones this year - yummy)

2 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened, room temperature

1/2 cup  sugar

1/2 tsp.  vanilla

2  eggs

1-1/2 cups  BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, tinted green

36 small  jelly beans

12 pieces  red string licorice (4 inch each)

HEAT oven to 350°F.

PLACE 1 wafer in each of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended. Spoon over wafers.

BAKE 20 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 2 hours.

TOP with coconut and jelly beans just before serving. Bend each licorice piece, then insert both ends into cheesecake to resemble the handle of a basket.
How to Tint Coconut: 
Place coconut and a few drops green food coloring in small resealable plastic bag. Seal bag. Shake bag gently until coconut is evenly tinted. (I recommend using food prep gloves, when putting the coconut on the cakes, to avoid staining your hands).

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