mini peppermint cheesecakes

christmas cheesecakes

“Be the change you want to see in the world”. – Ghandi

These cute mini peppermint cheesecakes have officially become one of my many ways to cope through events of the last week.

It’s been a bit rough around here, wouldn’t you agree? The tragedy at Sandy Hook still has me, along with the rest of our country, reeling. I haven’t been able to focus on much else; I’m not sure I can remember the last time I cried so many tears. Earlier today I pulled into the girls’ school parking lot to drop something off and saw a police car sitting at the entrance, watching. I felt both relief that he was there and sadness that it’s necessary.

It’s difficult to make sense of something so senseless. It’s difficult to feel joy in the midst of such tragedy and violence. I have cried many tears these past five days and repeatedly declared that something must be done, changes must be made! I’ve discussed it at length with so many people and it feels heavier and more impossible a task with each word. Yet after much thought about what I can personally do to help make our world a safer place for our treasured children, I’ve realized that while I may feel helpless, I am not helpless. If there’s one thing that I’m choosing to take away from all of this, it’s that I can be more compassionate, more focused, more giving and loving. I am choosing to be grateful for the reminder to be grateful.

When I wrote this post last May, I was very focused on “me”. Now that I’ve got “me” down, it’s time to focus on others. More time with my children and less time on this blog. More time in my community and less time in my home. More time for everyone that I love and less time for those who are less meaningful to me.

We’re also starting a “Good Times Jar”. I told the girls about my idea (it’s not my original idea, it’s just my idea to use it for our family) and they were both excited! I told them that, starting now, anytime something good happens we will write it down and put it in the jar. Then, next Christmas, we will pull them all out and read about all the good things that happened in our lives that year. Kylie asked if she could be the first to put something in the jar as something really good had happened to her yesterday at school. “I made a new friend! She is a new girl and we played together almost the whole recess today!” Yes, that definitely qualifies and we’re already off to a great start.

I’m not saying that major changes in gun control and within our mental health system aren’t urgent and necessary. And I can’t say that I’m not terrified for my country and our children. But being paralyzed by fear will not bring about the change that’s needed. And so I am starting with small changes at the very core of my own world in the hopes that it will have even a very tiny impact on yours. It’s what I can do right now, at this very moment, while I’m watching and waiting to see what our politicians do about the guns and the people in our country who need real help.

I mentioned that these cheesecakes served as a bit of sweet therapy for me. I’d been sick with the flu for a week and was in such a funk over Sandy Hook that the very first day I began to feel better I knew that cheesecakes were in order. I seem to always gravitate toward cute little treats whenever I need to cheer myself up. I picked up my girls from school on Monday, the first school day after the tragedy, armed with a plateful of these little cheesecakes and we drove to my parents and surprised them. It was such a nice afternoon – we all laughed our stresses away. I am always amazed at the way that food is universal and can bring people together. Although I suspect it’s not really the cheesecakes or lasagna or whatever dish it is being shared – I’m pretty sure it’s the love and thoughtfulness that went into it that’s really what it’s all about.

I’m taking a tiny break from blogging. I’m going to spend the next 10 days or so with my family, loving on them and spending every waking moment making sure they know how important they are to me. And I’ll have a lot of delicious goodies to share with you as a result! I wish you all very happy, safe and joyous holidays!

peppermint cheesecake

I want to express my condolences to everyone affected by the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school. I hope that all the families are able to find some peace and comfort that will carry them through this holiday season and beyond. My heart and thoughts are with you.


  1. Amy says

    Kristy – these look so wonderful! And I swear – there is nothing better than a mini dessert… You just never feel like you are having “too much”.
    Take care!

  2. says

    This post totally broke me down… I am crying as I type this so forgive any typos… The Sandy Hook left me so grateful for what we have and made me promise myself that I will cherish and appreciate it all everyday. Your idea of “Good Times Jar” is so beautiful! You are an amazing person, amazing mother, amazing friend. Have a wonderful and sweet Christmas! xoxo PS: These little cheesecakes are stunning!

    • says

      Thanks Raquel! I’m so happy you got the colander set. I picked out gifts that I would love to get myself & I’m really happy you like it! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2013. Hugs to you!!

  3. says

    So well said, Kristy.

    I can’t believe how much I’ve cried since Friday. How sad I’ve been…how MAD I’ve been. How this continues to happen. How are Americans not outraged?! The gun lobby is so strong. And our politicians are so greedy, I fear it will never change – not even 20 innocent young sweet children slaughtered will get them to change. Until a senator’s own child is shot, they were just look the other way.

    I’m usually so hung up on my blog, sometimes (dare I say, even frequently..yeesh) irritated with my kids when they interrupt my writing or photographing. No more. I will work when they are at school, and once they’re home, they get my attention. They deserve that. Life is too precious and too short.

    I actually just implemented a “Caught Ya Being Good” jar. When “catch them” doing a good deed, being polite, using good manners, etc, they get a poker chip to put in their own cup. When the cup reaches the top, then we’ll go out for ice cream. But I love your idea even more, because it’s completely unselfish – the reward is seeing all the good things they did all year long.

    Hugs to you during the holidays and always.

    • says

      Ahhh, Amy….I agree with it all. I think your idea is great, too! I just love the idea of all of us being able to look back at all the good times we had together. Even if something good happens with work, or school, or to a friend – those are all things that we can celebrate. I know that a lot of things happened last Jan, Feb, March…but can I remember them? Not really.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I hope you & the family have the best holiday ever!! Love you to pieces. xoxo

  4. says

    Some really great thoughts. Thanks for those. Thanks also for such a nice recipe. Cheesecake is good anytime, and the mint is so appropriate. Good recipe, but you could have stopped before you got to it – the opening is so excellent.

  5. says

    I wish you the best my friend. Everytime I feel over this tradgedy it hits me again. I read the food blog of the woman who’s grandson was killed, Noah, and oh my goodness. It’s heartbreaking. Have a wonderful time with your family. And I love my mini cheesecake pan, which is what it looks like you used here! They look awesome! Merry Christmas.

  6. says

    Your “Good Times Jar” is brilliant! Huge changes are definitely needed. I’ve enjoyed watching Piers Morgan fight for those changes the last few nights on CNN. (Okay, so I may have a small crush on him. But…) ;)

    These mini cheesecakes are adorable! Oreo crust, be still my heart!. Happy holidays, Kristy! *peace and love to all* xo

    • says

      Thanks, V! Wish I could claim credit although I love the idea no matter whose it was :-) I’ve been watching Piers every night, too, and WOW…he has been really giving it to the gun rights activists. I’ve never seen anything like it. (I may have a small crush, too!!)

      Hope your holiday is as wonderful as you are, my friend. You’ve definitely added to my life this year – thanks for that! oxo

  7. says

    What a great way to move forward–by showing gratitude and compassion. And, I love the idea of the good times jar. What a great collection of memories you’ll have at the end of the year! These pretty, little cheesecakes must have been delightful treats. I want one for breakfast!

  8. says

    News media are not interested in delivering good events anymore, so good events in a jar is an excellent idea and most especially doing it with your kids. This mini cheesecake is beautiful as always. Have a Merry Christmas to you and your family, Kristy! :)

  9. says

    The Sandy Hook tragedy has really affected me as well, being a mother of 3. I cannot fathom the pain and sorrow the bereaved families and community are feeling right now. In a way, I am glad I live in Canada, where is it generally “safer” compared to the States (relying on crime stats here). But it only takes one crazed gunman to wreak such unnecessary violence. Sometimes, even with the best prevention or security, it only takes one man to snap. The world is a scary place, but I guess, we are all just trying to live peacefully and safely day by day.

    On a different note, this cheesecake looks awesome! I’m lungeing into my screen and writing this comment at the same time! It’s that tasty-looking!

  10. says

    I just came upon this post Kristy, and it is sending shivers down my spine. I live about a 100 miles from Sandy Hook. The schools in my town have changed, all of us treated with security checks and IDied, the open and responsive atmosphere replaced by a gloomy, depressed one. And the politicians haven’t changed, and won’t, until a greedy gun lobyist and an even more greedy politician loose their own children to this evil, nothing is going to change.

    I kiss my children more often now a days…give them hugs for no reason, and they seem to understand it too, and return them with no inhibitions.

  11. Joanna says

    My sister and I just made this for a work party. Boy, they are so precious! They will think a professional made these. Thanks for the recipe. Who can resist chocolate and peppermint with a beautiful star on top?

    • Joanna says

      Oh, forgot to mention. We used what we had on hand which worked out perfect. Trader Joe’s has a candy cane version of their Joe Joe’s. It’s their cookie that’s just like oreos. These worked very well.

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