Okay, I know it’s not a brand-new idea to make mason jar desserts, but I was going through my recipe book a few weeks ago, and I ran across a recipe that a friend of mine from my childhood had written for me about 20(!!) years ago for mini cherry cheesecakes that we made at one of our baking sleepovers. Yes, I have totally been crafting and baking since WAY before it was cool. ;) But I got a little emotional thinking about her, because back when we were 20, we lost her in a car accident the last week of October. I don’t mean to start today off sad, I’m sorry! I actually had a lot of fun thinking about the good times when I put today’s post together.
Anyway – this really seemed like the perfect time to make the recipe again, and remember my friend Heavenly. Back in the day, we baked these in mini muffin tins. And stayed up way too late. And ate too much sugar. And things that girls who love to bake do. :) Today, I am baking them in mason jars, and dressing them up with paper flowers to remember her, with my new dies that my friends at Sizzix sent me.
If you read here often, you know I’ve been loving on my Big Shot, and I want to thank Sizzix for the new dies they sent me to share some of my project ideas with you guys. In addition to today’s recipe, I’ll show you how to top your small-mouth mason jars with layered paper flowers. You will need:
- Sizzix Big Shot
- Sizzix Sizzlits Summer Florals Strip Die
- Scrapbook paper in various colors, textures, and patterns
- Hole punch (that can accommodate a long punch)
- Small brads
- Half-pint mason jars
First things first: let’s bake! It was like going back in time reading this in Heavenly’s handwriting.
I did make a couple adjustments to account for baking these in jars, but they make up a light cheesecake dessert – not a true, rich cheesecake, but a perfect light version. Here’s the printable recipe:
- ⅔ c. graham cracker crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1 egg
- ⅓ c. sugar
- Cherry pie filling (or topping of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Melt butter, and stir it into graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl until well-blended.
- Divide and spoon into 8 half-pint sized mason jars, and press down to form crust.
- In a separate bowl, mix sugar, egg, and cream cheese until smooth.
- Spoon into jars. Place jars in an oven-safe dish, and bake for 24-28 minutes. (The original recipe was 10-12 minutes for 24 mini-muffin sized cheesecakes.)
When these are cooled and ready to close up, they’re ready to decorate.
Decorated treats in jars are perfect to take to a party – self-contained, perfectly portioned, and people can even bring them home – it’s a great way to send leftovers home with people!
I love this floral die. You can make up lots of different kinds of flowers by die-cutting a few different colors and textures of paper. Just layer the paper on top of the die, sandwich it between the cutting pads, and roll it through your machine! You get an easy, blade-free cut.
Once you’ve got a decent stack of flowers, you can start layering them!
You have to create a base that’s the same size as your lid in order for it to hold. You won’t even need any adhesive if you cut a circle that size. I happened to have a floral die just the right size in my stash, but if you don’t, then you can easily trace the lid onto a piece of paper and cut with scissors.
Punch the flowers in the center, and assemble them together with a tiny brad.
Add them to the tops of the lids, and just screw on the rings to hold them on. They’re beautiful, and an inexpensive way to make coordinated toppers for individual treats!
Thanks for reading with me today while I remember a sweet friend with this sweet treat. Heavenly – you are missed!