Spring has Sprung!

Spring is having a hard time showing up this year here in Texas! I just catered a wedding on Sunday for 300+ people in the sleet and ice. We NEVER get sleet and ice. Leave it to the crazy Texas weather to wait to unleash its freezing pellets until I am unloading a car full of hot food and then carrying it across a frozen dock. Sheesh! It was a crazy night to say the least. (Don’t worry – It turned out well). That being said, these freezing temps have me craving warm weather, blue skies and sunshine. Since those seem to be slow in coming, I decided to take matters into my own hands…

I was in charge of dessert for my weekly dinner with my friends. Thinking about Spring and sunshine naturally brought to mind the sweet tartness of lemon. And what balances lemon better than coconut? And so, the coconut lemon swirl cheesecake was born.

I used rich lemon curd (please either make it yourself or buy a high quality one – it makes a difference), sweetened, shredded coconut and Nilla wafers. I made individual cheesecakes for my friends to enjoy, but you could bake this in an 8” springform pan, too. If you opt for a springform pan you will want to take the extra step to make a graham cracker (Or Nilla wafer) crust before filling the pan with the cheesecake mixture. I used giant muffin pans and lined them with giant cupcake liners.

The cheesecakes tasted like Spring! Sweet and tart and delicately rich. They were the perfect ending to the lettuce wraps Jess and Aaron made for dinner. (Thanks Jess and Aaron, they were yummy) I hope you choose to make these soon. They brighten a dreary day with their lemony brightness, but they would also be a perfect treat for a Spring bridal or baby shower!

 

Coconut Lemon Swirl Cheesecake

This recipe made 6 Giant cheesecakes

 

Nilla wafers (18 whole)

3 – 8oz pkg cream cheese at room temperature

2/3 Cup sugar

1 T coconut extract

2 large eggs

Shredded coconut (1/2 Cup)

Lemon curd – purchased or prepared (about 6 teaspoons)

 

  1.  Place cupcake liners in your muffin or cupcake pan

wafers2.  Lay 3 Nilla wafers (single layer) in the bottom of each cupcake liner to form the crust.

3.  In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, extract and eggs until completely smooth

4.  Spoon the cheesecake filling into each cupcake liner, on top of the Nilla wafers, filling them to the top.

cheesecake5.  Drop about a teaspoon of lemon curd into the middle of each cheesecake and gently swirl without disturbing the wafers on the bottom

lemon curd6.  Sprinkle the tops of each cheesecake with the shredded coconut

coconut top7.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or just until set.

final 2

Serve with a twist of lemon for color!

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