Mini Lemon Cheesecake Squares With Raspberries

These small squares of luscious, lemony cheesecake topped with raspberries made their debut at my little sister's college graduation party this past weekend. Her four years at Carnegie Mellon deserved some recognition!

Lindsay loves cheesecake and she also loves lemon squares -- and she's been known to order the lemon raspberry cream cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory more than once -- so when I saw a recipe for lemon cheesecake squares in the July issue of Bon Appetit, I wanted to make them for her party, and I wanted to top them not with blueberries, not with blackberries, but with raspberries.

The day before the party, I made these, doubling the recipe, and ended up with a foil-lined 9- by 13- inch pan full of graham cracker-crusted cheesecake. To transport the bars, I left them right in the pan and snapped the pink lid on top. (I brought a bowl of fresh raspberries on the side.) The bars easily endured the 2-hour drive to Connecticut. When I arrived at my parents' house -- the party venue -- I put the pan on the dining room table and in the brief moment I turned away and turned back, my mother had deftly lifted the bars from the pan, using the foil overhang, and set them on a cutting board.

By now you may know of my obsession with mini things. If you don't, I'll make this quick: I love them. Especially mini foods. When it comes to food at parties, I think the smaller the better. I want to be able to taste everything, and mini foods make that much more achievable. (Keep in mind I just mean smaller size, not less food!)
So I cut the cheesecake into small squares, just big enough to accommodate a raspberry. I perched the raspberries, like shiny jewels, atop their cheesecake stands. The whole ensemble looked stunning.

When it came time to pass the desserts around, I offered up the squares to any eager takers. Tasters commented on the perfect creaminess of the cheesecake. The squares were a huge hit. And, most important, I think the graduate enjoyed them too.

Some Other Raspberry Treats

I came across these in my Google Reader today and thought you might enjoy them too!