Have I ever told you about the time I went to Girl Scout Camp and stole a canoe?
Don’t judge me. I did not act alone.
I met the best friend I had all through elementary, junior high, and high school on the first day of first grade. I was a terrified, extremely shy, awkward, and skinny kid when I showed up to the first day of school. This day remains one of my most vivid memories. Kim approached me and asked who my kindergarten teacher was.
Back in the day we only went to kindergarten half days. You either had school in the morning or the afternoon. So, I said I had Mrs. Wright, Kim slapped me five and said she did too. She was morning and I was afternoon. We were thick as thieves from that moment on.
Flash forward about 10 years and somehow we ended up as non-Girl Scouts at Girl Scout Camp. There were girls of all ages there, but the older girls (us) got our own weird 3 sided cabin away from all the little girls and I’m here to tell you that just invited shenanigans. Trust me. I speak the truth.
This camp was obviously in the woods, but it was near a body of water that wasn’t really a river, but it was bigger than a stream. There were residential homes in the area too. Kim and I were out
looking for trouble exploring one afternoon and came across a canoe by the water. We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and thanked our lucky stars for this opportunity. We rowed up and down that body of water all day long – venturing a bit further each time.
Then we started taking on passengers and that led to our demise as captains of the purloined canoe.
We got busted.
I realize that trip down my memory lane had absolutely nothing to do with these mini cherry goat cheesecakes, but I sure had a good time thinking about my old friend and remembering that dang canoe appropriation. We did give it back after all!
Mini Cherry Goat Cheesecakes
For the Cherries
- 1 pound fresh cherries
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- For the Cheesecakes
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 8 ounces goat cheese softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- mint leaves for garnish if desired
For the Cherries
Combine cherries, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to a simmer, add corn starch, and continue cooking until cherries are soft and liquid thickens
Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator
For the Cheesecakes
Preheat oven to 350
Combine melted butter and graham cracker crumbs
Add 12 cupcake liners to a standard size muffin pan
Press about 2 tablespoons into the bottom of each liner
Add goat cheese and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low until smooth
Add the 2/3 cup of sugar and the salt and beat on low until combined
Add eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate the first completely before adding the second one
Add vanilla and beat on high until smooth, about 2 minutes
Pour evenly into the cupcake liners
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until set
Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold
To serve, peel off liners, top with cherries, and garnish with mint leaves if desired
Adapted from Food & Wine July 2015 issue
Note: I refrigerated the cherries and the cheesecakes overnight