Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots! ...Made of Cheesecake!

Some of my favorite things come in shot glasses (because some of my favorite things are booze). So a couple of years ago when Chili's, Applebee's, or TGIFriday's came out with dessert shooters, I foresaw untold possibilities. I'm honestly not sure which was the originator, and I'm also not sure it really matters since all three restaurants are practically identical aside from their queso recipes. But God bless the restaurant that wants to try to assist me in portion controlling my dessert when the first thing I am offered after sitting down is the 'Leaning Tower of Onion Rings' with a bottomless tortilla chip front and a fried pickle back. Did I mention the tower itself is constructed completely out of extra crispy bacon in this case? It totally is. If this isn't already a thing, it should be...because I would eat the hell out of it. I digress. What were we talking about? SHOTS! That's right. Upon eating my first dessert shooter, I was a bit saddened. When I want dessert, I don't just want alittlebit of dessert- I want alottabit of dessert, so I abandoned the shooter...why just have a thimble full of Molten Lava Cake when you can have the whole thing? But since we're both still feeling a bit heavy from eating multiple pounds of chocolate chip cookie dough fudge brownies, I opted to give the dessert shooter another chance, and I'm glad I did (as is my cholesterol level).
So I used a low ball glass and not a shot glass for amediumbit of dessert.
I'll allow you a moment to stop drooling before we get down to business. I am a lover of both cheese and cake. Putting them together is a marriage made in Heaven as far as I'm concerned. The only reason I don't make cheesecake more often is because I have yet to figure out a way to decorate cheesecake to make it an art form and not simply a form for eating with a fork. I know, things don't ALWAYS have to be a work of beauty, but just ask the nearest blonde if being pretty has ever hurt her chances at life (hint: It hasn't). Vanity thy name is cheesekate. cake. cheesecake.
I'm trying to make my photos jazzier for your viewing. Again with the perfection...
I have a wicked tasty no bake cheesecake recipe for the lazy hungry beast that resides inside of all of us. I did adapt the recipe a bit to make for a stiffer filling, so here's what you need for the shooters:
  • Two blocks cream cheese (reduced fat will work, but it will not taste as good knowing you're eating a healthy dessert)
  • One can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  •  Three tablespoons of lemon juice (could be fresh, but once the cutting board comes out, the lazy beast inside of you will get angry)
  • One tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • One sleeve of graham crackers
  • Optional: Rediwhip, strawberry syrup, or canned pie filling fruit
  • Recipe makes probably about 8-12 shooters depending on the size of your glassware. 
Start by mixing together the milk and softened cream cheese. Realize the basic components of cheesecake are kinda gross. Opt against licking the beaters for now.
Blend in the vanilla and lemon, and note the miracles that extract can work.
 At this point, depending on how you're going to "decorate" your shooters, place the cheesecake filling into the freezer to start to harden up a bit for at least an hour if you plan on piping. If you're just going for the ladling layers strategy, it's fine left out.
I so enjoy a good beating. Place an entire sleeve of graham crackers into a large baggie and pummel them with your rolling pin.
...until they look like the sand that most of us wish was between our toes. Sadly, you won't be eating cheesecake shooters in Fiji, but you will still be eating cheesecake shooters, so it isn't a total crapshoot.
Now, how you go about assembling your shooters is totally up to you. I tried two methods, one with utter failure and the other with total success. We have shot glasses, but they're all boxed up behind the bar and I just wasn't down for that adventure, so I used two small stemless wine glasses and two low ball glasses to attempt my shooters. And if you want a dessert that doesn't just leave you wanting more dessert (first world problems are still pretty great), use a wine glass for these shooters, as it is the perfect amount of dessert. I'll start off by telling you the amazingly hopeful dream I had for the failure round of shooters...
No matter how you go about it, start by scooping a spoonful and a half of crumbs into your glasses.
I had dreams of making these shooters spiraled with strawberry sauce, which did work, but didn't pipe anywhere nearly as prettily as I had hoped...because I didn't heed my own advice and allow my cheesecake filling to firm up long enough. Let me be your cautionary tale. If you let it set in the freezer for an hour, you'll be able to pipe and have the filling keep form.
To get the spiral effect, throw down a few lines of strawberry sauce onto some Saran wrap, then put a few heaping spoonfuls of cheesecake filling on top of that. Tie up both ends, and then put the tube into a piping bag fitted with a 1M or 2D tip. Unroll the end of Saran wrap sticking out of the piping bag and you're set.
The spiral tie-dye effect is real, people!
Annnnd here's where things went to hell in a wine glass. As you can see, the strawberry is nice and lightly spiraled throughout the cheesecake filling (as I had envisioned), however, my cheesecake was too mushy, and the piping shape itself turned out more like brains than nice, kinky twists (why yes, the exact opposite of how I envisioned).
But cheesecake is cheesecake, so I topped these brains with Rediwhip and crushed graham crackers. Brains or not, still insanely delicious. I may have a go at this again for next Halloween. I'm never not planning some kind of party in my head. If there's a way to bring dessert into the equation, I'm all over that like...well, me all over dessert.
So the first attempt didn't work for me, but if you freeze the filling long enough, you could make a gorgeous cheesecake shooter that you will have a hard time deciding whether to frame or eat, so it's a good thing Instagram exists. The second attempt went flawlessly, thank goodness, or this would be a very sad (albeit still tasty) blog.
Once you've put down the crust, add a heaping spoonful of filling to your glass. Try not to get it on the sides so the layering is more noticeable.
Next add a thick layer of strawberry sauce. If you wanted to use pie filling, this would be a great alternative, too. I will make these with a layer of blueberry in the near future! Just waiting for another party/excuse...
Then add another layer of graham cracker crumbs. This is turning into the lasagna of desserts: Layered and FABULOUS.
Add another heaping spoonful of fulling. This is where I became immediately grateful I had a Plan B.
Finish off by topping with a decent amount of Rediwhip and sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Enjoy how beautiful Plan B turned out.
I'm told all the greats always have a Plan B. Since I'm a Type A, you can imagine how having a Plan B, C, D, E, F, etc. is right up my alley, but the frustration with having to use it (and the extraordinary amount of letters in the alphabet in this paragraph) drives the OCD in me a little crazy. At least now instead of reaching for a stiff drink in my low ball or wine glasses, I can reach for a nice helping of  strawberry cheesecake shooter. I consider this to be an exceptional alternative as eating one or two of them won't render me hungover the following morning. Thank you, ChilapplebeeFriday's, for making this dream a reality. Now pass me the Leaning Tower made of bacon, because I am positive that has to be a real thing. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!


  1. Wish somebody would "shoot" me....

  2. These are so easy to make, you could totally "shoot" yourself! :-p


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