These were so wonderful that I've now decided we can make them for Easter as shown... but also you could do red, white and blue for Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day... red, white and green for Christmas... candy corn for Halloween... ombre red for Valentine's Day... whatever colors suit your fancy! The filling is white without the coloring added -- so it would really work!
Adapted from Sugar Hero
6oz short bread cookies (I used a sleeve of Girl Scout Shortbreads)
2 TBS melted butter
1 packet unflavored gelatin
2 TBS cold water
1 lb (16 oz) cream cheese - at room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream - at room temp
1/2 cup International Delight Sweet Cream creamer - at room temp
gel food color - I used pastel for Easter
Whipped cream for garnish
Candy or sprinkles for garnish
Make sure that a couple hours before you want to start making these -- you've pulled out your cream cheese and both types of cream so they can get to room temperature.
Place a jumbo silicone muffin pan on a baking sheet. Pulse the shortbread cookies in a food processor until they are finely crumbled OR you can put them in a large baggie and use a rolling pin to crush them up finely. Mix them with your melted butter in a small bowl.
Using a cookie scoop or spoon divide the crumb mixture in the cavities of the muffin pan evenly. (it was about 2 scoops per cup for mine) Press firmly into the bottom of each portion of the pan to form your crust. I used a small medicine cup from a children's nyquil bottle -- it needs to be the hard plastic kind for it to work.
Place the cold water in a separate small bowl and pour the gelatin on top. Mix it together and then let it sit to the side until you're ready to use it.
Put the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand mixer could also be used) - using the paddle attachment - beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy without any left over lumps. Make sure you scrape the bowl completely and mix again before adding anything else.
Add in the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, and salt - mix well - scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl well.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the cream and creamer, mixing until everything is smooth. I put both of mine into the same measuring cup to come up to room temp - so I just poured in a 1/4 of the mixture at a time.
Finally, microwave the gelatin mixture for about 10-15 seconds until it is liquid again. Mix it for just a little bit, and then finish mixing it by hand to make sure you've scraped the sides and gotten everything mixed well.
Divide the cheesecake mixture by the number of colors you will be adding -- for Easter, I did 4 -- but for other holidays adjust accordingly. Stir in 1-2 drops of food coloring into each bowl and mix until the color is mixed in completely. (I used 2)
Using the same medium sized cookie scoop (again mine was 2 scoops per color) - you could also pipe in the colors if that make it easier for you. Place the scoops in the middle and spread outwardly with a spoon - I made sure that each color touched the sides of the pan all the way around each cup before adding in the next color.
Repeat with the remaining colors - layering until you've finished with all of the colors. Place the pan that is sitting on the sheet pan into the freezer for at least 2 hours. I did 2.5 to make sure that they were good and solid. They should feel solid to the touch before you try to unmold them.
To unmold - press up from the bottom of the pan, and turn it upside down - pushing the cake into your hand. We put ours in a rectangular 13x9 cake pan with a lid - and allowed them to sit in the refrigerator until time to be served the next day. You at least want them to have 30 minutes between the time you remove them from the molds and the time you're planning to serve them so that they aren't frozen. They can sit in the refrigerator for several days if you'd like to make them in advance.
To decorate - top with whipped cream (I used rediwhip so that it was fresh and looked pretty) & a pinch of sprinkles or candy. I used egg shaped M&Ms for our Easter version.