In celebration of National Dairy Month, I am so excited to share a guest blog post from one of the best bakers around. Staci is the baker behind the blog Random Sweetness, and is responsible for creating some of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever tasted. You’ll be sure to love this recipe as much as I do.
If I had to give up one or the other, red meat would be down the road kicking cans before a day without dairy. (Even though I’d go through mood-altering bacon withdrawals.)
Think about it – crispy pizza without stringy mozzarella. Piping hot enchiladas without melty Monterey Jack. Steaming baked potatoes without creamy butter, sour cream, and cheddar (a triple dairy whammy). Cheese and cracker tray without Swiss and pepper jack. Salty corn on the cob without dripping butter. Rich lasagna without ricotta. Chilled breakfast parfaits without yogurt. Au gratin potatoes without Gruyère. Pound cake without butter. And the most difficult for me to imagine, cheesecake without cream cheese.
So in celebration of National Dairy Month, let’s give thanks and share tiny turtle cheesecakes and shots of milk to dairy farmers and their families everywhere. Cheers!
When Sarah Jo asked me to write a cheesecake guest post for DakotaChic in celebration of June Dairy Month, I knew I would make something that mirrors her charm and personality – delightful, classy, sweet, and show stoppingly gorgeous – turtle cheesecakes in pretty little jars.
If you’ve never baked cheesecake because you think it’s difficult or you don’t have the right pans, you now have ZERO excuses. You can make turtle cheesecakes in canning jars about as simply as making cupcakes. (Sarah has those covered for you in her recipe for Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes.) You will forever be remembered for your stunning entrance, with jars in hand, to your next party.
- 1 cup Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crumbs
- 2 tbsps White Sugar
- 2 tbsps Butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Pecan Pieces
- 1 Package Caramels (11 oz. bag), unwrapped
- 1/4 cup Evaporated Milk
- 2 (8 oz) Packages Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 3/4 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 cup Pecan Pieces
- 1/2 cup Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Remaining Caramel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 250°. Stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Drop a few tablespoons of crust mixture into bottom of each jar. Lightly press into jar.
- Set jars on a cookie sheet or bar pan and bake at 250° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle pecan pieces onto crust.
- Melt caramels and evaporated milk, stirring until creamy. Set aside.
- Place softened cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer. Use paddle attachment to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, approximately 2 minutes. Two times during this process, turn mixer off and scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add sugar and flour. Beat 2 minutes, scraping downs sides of bowl. Pour in eggs and vanilla and beat 2 minutes on low speed, scraping down the sides a couple of times.
- Scoop cheesecake batter into jars, filling only half full. Spoon a layer of caramel onto cheesecake layer, enough to coat the layer evenly. Scoop more cheesecake batter onto the caramel, leaving ½-inch empty at the top.
- Bake jars on pan at 250° for 23-27 minutes, or until centers are no longer jiggly. Turn oven off and keep door open. Let cheesecakes rest to room temperature.
- Chill jars in refrigerator for two hours. Before sealing, sprinkle pecan pieces and mini chocolate chips on top and drizzle with remaining caramel sauce (gently re-warmed).
- Chill at least 12 hours before serving. Store sealed jars in refrigerator up to 5 days.
For everything dairy including recipes, nutrition facts, news, and educational materials check out these fun resources:
- National Dairy Council – website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter
- Midwest Dairy Association – website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter
- Dairy Makes Sense – website
For those of you who prepare lactose intolerance-friendly meals, I found some good resources and recipes on the National Dairy Council website, including the article “Celebrating June Dairy Month with a Lactose Intolerance-Friendly Twist” by Chef Caitlin Steininger of Cooking With Caitlin.
As Dairy Month ends and your Fourth of July celebration begins, may your milk cup runneth over and your cookie jar be too full for a lid.
Random Sweetness Baking
For an even bigger dose of sweetness, connect with Staci at: