For as long as I can remember, whenever someone asks me what I want for a present, my answer is a pony. Birthday, Christmas, Flag Day – a pony is an ideal gift for any occasion.
My wish for a pony of my own is well-known among my family and friends. My mom even considered having a pony at my high school graduation party – my school counselor owned several – but thought pony rides would be too messy for our guests.
Clearly I was hanging with the wrong crowd at that time.
As far as I can tell, the only good thing to come from my broken hand was that it happened four days before Christmas. If there was ever a year to expect a pony under the tree this was it. Sadly no pony materialized – that day. A week later a large box arrived in the mail. Inside was a pony Pillow Pet; a “Get well soon” present from my parents.
I named him Herbert Hoofer.
It sounds silly, but Herbert is the perfect arm rest for my cast. True, he isn’t a real pony, but my doctor probably doesn’t want me riding a pony right now. That’s why I was OK when my birthday rolled around two days ago and my family assumed Herbert was enough pony for one year.
Rather than dwell the lack of a living pony at my house, and the extra candle on my birthday cake, I made birthday treats for my colleagues. I am getting better at maneuvering my kitchen one-handed. Still, in keeping with my simplicity theme, I chose an easy recipe for this year’s treats: Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes.
There were no complaints in the newsroom.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.
Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat by Martha Stewart (Clarkson Potter; June 2, 2009)
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