Flavor of a Favor
When we set out on this great wedding adventure, guest favors were the last thing on my mind. At first I thought, “Candy bar? Perfect. Check it off the list and move on!” And then I started poking around on the ol’ interwebz and got jealous when I saw how many people chose or made personal or local favors. I wondered what I could possibly make that I loved and would be meaningful for my guests. And then it hit me.
Cheesecake! I’m semi-famous around the office for bringing in homemade strawberry cheesecakes every now and then and suddenly I was crazy about wanting to share my favorite dessert with all my favorite people at our celebration.So I said, let the experimenting begin!
Typically I make full pies—I follow this basic Kraft recipe and pour it into three regular-sized graham cracker crusts (the crust tastes the same as the homemade version and saves time and energy), heat up the jam, and swirl it around to look nice with a butter knife. But even the full-pan version wasn’t going to do for favors—without lining, they were too messy package. Batch #1 went to the office so I couldn’t eat it!
Then lo and behold, I saw a recipe for cheesecake cupcakes that even had the cutest little hearts on them in a Martha Stewart bridal magazine. Win! I combined my favorite recipe with her prep techniques and the batter yielded about 40 cupcakes. That seemed doable. I’d need to make about four batches to cover everyone on our 125-person guest list. Feeling clever, I bought Nilla Wafers as a substitute for the crust. I even bought cute little Chinese to-go boxes and everything. I was prepared for success.
The hearts turned out okay (the jam kind of sunk in some of them, making strawberry surprises rather than hearts), but the Nilla Wafers were a wee bit small and soggy, and when I went to see if they fit in the boxes I bought, they were too big! D’oh! Batch #2 of cheesecake cupcakes went straight to work, too.
On the verge of giving back in to the candy table, I wandered around the grocery store and came across those convenient mini cupcake tins and immediately scooped a couple up and some fresh ingredients for my last cheesecake hurrah.
Finally, success! They cook MUCH faster than cupcakes, the size was perfect (about the size of a small Reese’s Cup—each to go box fit two each), and the batter makes 96 of these joyous bites of wonderfulness. That means I only need to make 2 ½ batches for everyone to have two each, cutting my baking time in half. Bonus! The only drawback is that the Nilla Wafers are too large for the mini cupcake tin, but the graham cracker crust really doesn’t take long to do in small doses (a melon baller or small measuring spoon does wonders to mash the crust down). And they’re so cute!
I’ll only need to spend a couple of hours a couple of days before the wedding baking to my heart’s content (geddit?) and my guests will love knowing I made something from the heart (eh? hearts?) just for them.