Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably noticed that Spring hasn’t exactly sprung in
Nova Scotia Snowva Scotia yet.
It’s kind of a confusing time for all: what with snow banks taller than most people towering over us, while grocery store shelves are filled with bright and colourful Easter themes decorated with bunnies in green fields full of flowers, but our grass probably won’t be visible until at least June. To make matters more confusing, we didn’t have any snow the only day of the year I am ok with there being snow: Christmas.
It’s like the seasons got swapped.
My theory is that Mother Nature didn’t take too kindly to us bragging about our mild winter and decided to teach us a lesson in February and March by giving us Winter instead of Spring… and now to add insult to injury she isn’t going to clean up her mess. Ever. Welcome to Snowva Scotia, friends. I guess we live here now.
You may be laughing, but the signs are all around us that the old switcheroo took place. There’s more snow in the forecast, the Christmas decorations are still out at my parents’ house, the snow that is here already isn’t melting, and the tell tale sign of winter/Christmas appeared last week: there was Egg Nog at the grocery store.
What sorcery is this?! At first I thought this was some sort of cruel April Fools Day joke but nope. It’s for real. I don’t understand this backwards snow covered world we now live in, but it is certainly delicious.
One thing is for certain: there is no stopping this season swap; Spring in Nova Scotia as we know it is gone. We live in Snowva Scotia now. And I for one have decided to welcome our new backwards, season swap.
We now live in a world where seasonal treats are available whenever they want to be, the snow won’t leave, and we are all going a little insane.
And well, like I always say: when life gives you egg nog and 7 ft snow banks in April, make an Easter/Christmas dessert hybrid.
Ok, so I only just said that the other day for the first time, but really: is that your greatest concern right now? Have you looked outside? COME ON.
Mini Egg (Nog) Cheesecakes
For the filling
2 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1 C Just Us! Fair Trade Organic Cane Sugar
3 Tbsp Speerville Flour Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
¾ C (miraculously available in April) Scotsburn Vanilla Egg Nog
1 egg from your local Farmers’ Market
2 Tbsp rum extract
1 pinch nutmeg
For decoration (and to seal the season swap deal)
2 bags crushed mini eggs (plus one safety bag for snacking… or two)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Pour half a sleeve of graham crackers into a food processor
and crush them up until they become a nice powdery-crumb-mix.
For a good time/laugh, check out the history of the graham cracker here.
I… I feel weird eating these now. Let’s just carry on.
Add the butter, sugar and pinch of nutmeg to the food processor and let it blend completely.
Line two muffin tins with medium sized muffin liners, or one pan with large sized muffin liners. I used mediums so I’ma go with the measurements for those. If you are using large liners you can probably figure out how to scale these next few steps for yourself. I believe in you.
Scoop ½ tbsp. of the crust mixture into each muffin liner and press it down with a spoon or something round that will get it nice and flat.
The crust only needs to bake for about 5 minutes to set. However, if you are using my parents’ oven a mere 5 minutes will leave your crusts looking like this
Nope. That is NOT what you want.
If your oven is also possessed, try making another batch of crusts and leaving them in for 2 minutes instead.
There we go. Much better. Oh gosh… did the first burn because I have been mocking Snowva Scotia? I’m sorry wintery overlords! It won’t happen again!
While you let the crusts cool you can whip up the filling.
Start by creaming the two packages of cream cheese together, and then add your sugar.
Let it mix until it is completely blended, and smooooooth as can be.
Next, add your flour, rum extract and nutmeg and blend to combine
Then add your sweet, glorious egg nog
followed by your egg
and blend it like Beckham.
And by that I mean blend it real good. As in, don’t-give-up-let-it-blend-until-it’s-completely-smooth-and-perfect.
Scoop out that perfectly smooth liquidy goodness and fill all the muffin liners.
Pop them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’s really difficult for me to tell you how long to let these suckers bake since my parents’ oven has a mind of its own but what I can tell you is that you can’t test a cheesecake the same way you test a regular cake, so just do the jiggle test.
The what now? The jiggle test is quite simple: remove your pans from the oven and give them a little shake. If the very middle of the little cheesecakes is the only part that jiggles when you shake the pan, then your cheesecakes are done.
If everything is still jiggling like a damn mess, then they are not done.
If nothing jiggles, they might be a little overbaked.
If nothing jiggles, they are charred black, your kitchen is full of smoke and for some reason the smoke detector still doesn’t go off, you are at my parents’ house using their oven and yes, they are overbaked. Don’t do this.
When they are done, they will look something like this.
Take all those cute little cheesecakes out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. While the cheesecakes are cooling this is a great time to put the whisk attachment and bowl from your mixer in the freezer. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled you’re going to make some whipped cream – and chilling the bowl and whisk beforehand is key.
Once it’s time to make your whipped cream, remove the now chilled bowl and whisk from the freezer and measure out 1 C of whipping cream. Then guess what you do? Whip it.
Whip it good.
Once it is just about to form stiff peaks, add the rum extract and sugar. Then let it keep on whipping until the stiff peaks do form.
So here’s a thing: if you let it whip too much you will end up with a weird curdly mess. Don’t do that thing. You don’t want it.
You also don’t want to overhandle the whipped cream, so carefully fill a piping bag with the whipped cream, then top each itty-bitty-cheesecake with some whipped cream.
If you have left over whipped cream, please proceed to squirt the rest directly into your mouth. Never waste whipped cream. EVER.
Now gently sprinkle some nutmeg on top of the whipped cream
and if we lived in the old world of Nova Scotia and it was Christmas when you would normally bake with egg nog, you’d be done. But you don’t. That life is gone now. So smash up some mini eggs
and sprinkle them all over the cheesecakes.
I know it feels wrong, but just go with it.
This delicious seasonal hybrid will help to soothe the pain of never-ending winter.
I hearby vote for these Mini Egg (Nog) Cheesecakes to be the official dessert of Snowva Scotia. Why? Because you know it’s Easter so you want to bake with mini eggs, and at first you’re like “Ok yeah, this is an Easter treat.” but then you bite into it and you’re like “Wait, this tastes like Christmas! Is it Spring or is it Winter?”
The plot thickens when you go outside to take some nice pictures of your spring dessert
and you think to yourself “No, these must be a spring dessert. Look at how bright and cheery they are.” But wait, then you look up and think “What the? Am I taking pictures on a snow bank? That doesn’t make sense for Spring! Oh well, I guess a delicate little snowfall and snowbank in April isn’t that weird…”
and then you pull back and realize you’re not just on a delicate little snow bank. You’re towering over your car on a snow bank.
Welcome to Snowva Scotia, where standing on a 7 ft snow bank, taking pictures of mini cheesecakes in April is the new “isn’t really that weird.”
Sssssh. Just go with it.
This is your life now.
(I stole this picture from the internets but don’ t know who made it. So whoever you are: thank you for interneting this.)
Just let the confusion wash over you like a warm blanket, unwrap a couple of these sweet little cheesecakes, and proceed to shove them into your mouth to soothe the pain.
All hail Snowva Scotia.
At least we have cheesecakes.