Whenever I go to a get together or a dinner party at a friends house, I always ask “what can I bring?” There are the typical store bought dips, cookies, brownies; yawn. -__-
With a little help from the store, and a touch of homemade cooking these treats can be made easily and inexpensively. I called them Toasted Coconut-Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Cups…My inspiration? I have been obsessing over this toasted coconut vanilla yogurt lately and have grown to love everything coconut flavored.
Cheesecake Cup Filling
- 1 8 oz. package “Greek” cream cheese, softened (this stuff is amazing!!)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 small box instant cheesecake pudding
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk (you can use whole milk if need be, but NOT non-fat, it will not set as firmly)
- 1/2 cup prepared vanilla bean whipped cream, recipe follows (no vanilla beans no problem, use extract!)
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut (I used flaked sweetened coconut)
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (the colder the better, this will make whipping the cream much easier)
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod scraped (can be omitted, as they are a bit pricey)
For the filling, prepare the cheesecake pudding as directed on box but only use the 1 1/2 cups of milk versus the two; set aside and chill for 20 minutes or until firmly set. (This allows for a thicker consistency)
Beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup white sugar until combined. Beat this mixture into the chilled cheesecake pudding just until combined. Fold in 1/2 the whipped cream until mixture is light, fluffy and consistent.
Combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until medium peaks are formed. Do not over work this or else you will wind up with butter.
I used phyllo dough and created cups in muffin tins easily. (by brushing melted butter in between the dough layers (about 4) and pressed into the muffin tins.)Don’t have the time to make your own? You can find these pre-made individual mini cups in most any grocery store. Feel free to also use a graham cracker crust base as well.
I garnished mine with more toasted coconut, graham cracker crumbs and some berries. Try them with pineapple! This is such a quick and easy take on cheesecake. All your guests will be asking for the recipe.