Late Night Cheesecake Disaster

Leave it to me to make a relatively simple cooking task take 3 times as long as it should.

Last night I set out to bake snacks for todays after school meeting. My dear colleague, Todd, and I chose December because we like to go overboard with snacks. We had set on a menu of mini pumpkin cheesecakes, cranberry orange bread, poppy seed cake, a selection of cheese and a few veggies and dip. Okay, so that’s really more a buffet of snacks than a few snacks, but like I said we like to overdo it.

After a busy night of hunting down Webkinz for the 7 and under crowd on our shopping list, grocery shopping and hitting the toy isle at Target to see if they FINALLY had the Little People Racing Ramps Garage for Chris, I mean Ben, for Christmas and cooking pot roast (what was I thinking) I settled in to start baking the mini cheesecakes and cranberry bread. All was going well, the cheesecake batter looked and smelled great, the crust measured out perfectly into 24 muffin cups and I even jazzed up the box cranberry bread. Then it all went down hill. I was ‘fiddling’ with the cheesecake recipe – I didn’t actually have a mini cheesecake recipe, I just figured I’d use muffin cups and reduce the time. 20 minutes sounds about right for baking. WRONG. The timer goes off and instead of cheesecake I have something akin to the Arizona dessert. Oh, well, I think, maybe after they cool and chill they’ll be salvageable with a little whipped cream. 30 minutes later the fissures have shrunk down to mere wrinkles and they are looking pretty good. On a whim I decide to ‘test’ one to make sure it’s okay. As I unwrap it I’m pleased that the wrapper isn’t sticking and the crust looks good. I open my mouth to take a big bite, inhaling as I do, enjoying the pleasant pumpkin pie smell. Once the bite is in my mouth I realize quickly that something is wrong. My cheesecake tastes something along the line of pumpkin quiche instead of cheesecake. And then it hits me – the sugar. I forgot the sugar. &@$%! It’s 10:15 pm. I’m heading to the grocery store at 10:15 pm to get more pumpkin, crust ingredients, etc. Batch number 2 – this time I make certain I’ve added the sugar. 11:50 pm. This time they come out perfect. I reduced the baking time, remembered the sugar and even added ground pecans to the crust. 12:25 am. They’re cool, in the fridge, the kitchens clean and I’m in bed. 4:45 am my alarm goes off and I wonder why the heck I have to be such a perfectionist and show off for a 1 hour after school meeting.

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