Monday, February 24, 2014

The Miracle of the Cheesecakes!

Yes, it happens every year...but it never ceases to amaze "me of little faith".

I experience a Valentine's Day miracle every February, with about 50 of my closest friends. Many years ago, the men in our Sunday School Class began cooking the ladies (single, married, whatever) a Valentine's Dinner. It all began with some grills in the church parking lot, and has slowly escalated into a gourmet delight.

And the best part is...they do all the planning, cooking, serving and CLEANING UP (not kidding)!

This year we celebrated a week late, which worked out great for us, because we were at Nashville Market on Valentine's Day. We gobbled down a pizza in our room before we opened our door for the Friday night Early Bird Shopping event...not a great celebration.

Friday night a small group of dedicated men gather to bake the cheesecakes (they discovered you have to do this a day ahead). The rest of the menu varies from year to year, but we look forward to a cheesecake dessert smorgasbord every year!

While the men chow down on take-out pizza, the wives disappear to eat girly food at a selected restaurant. Then the guys get to work with 2 mixers, one food processor, two ovens, 5 recipes, 5 spring-form pans and a kitchen full of ingredients! Special thanks to Doug for gathering recipes and all the ingredients. There's a grocery store nearby for the forgotten ingredients...another yearly event.

When the gals return several hours later, there are already a few cheesecakes cooling. WHAT? They were chowing on pizza when we left and now the house smells heavenly and there are beautiful cheesecakes in the kitchen?! Above is the famous white chocolate raspberry in the coveted heart-shaped pan. 

While the ladies adjourn to the basement to watch a chick flick, the guys complete 5 cheesecakes. Every year they vary the flavor a bit.  Here was this year's cheesy lineup:

* Caramel macchiato
* Nutella
* White chocolate raspberry
* Classic New York with fresh strawberries
* Chocolate mocha

And here are the proud cheesecake bakers beaming behind the lovely dessert table. Sadly, after 50+ attendees sampled their favorites, there were no leftovers....darn! 

But our tummies and our hearts were full and happy and GRATEFUL for the fabulous men of Pneuma Sunday School Class, First United Methodist Church, Wichita!


Blogger's Note: We've also discovered that it's possible to bake these cheesecakes at other times of the year. Yes, the miracle still works! Now that Alan has acquired this skill, his white chocolate raspberry cheesecake is often requested for special events. Sounds good right now....


  1. What a SWEET idea for the men folk to spoil their women folk ~ LOL!! Mind if I steel, I mean borrow the idea for our S.Sch. class?? I have to share this idea w/them, that is such a neat idea!
    Alan does an amazing job! Looks like a professional made it!!


  2. Hi Linda,
    I'm not a cheesecake fan but they certainly looked delicious! One could be "turned" to the dark side of indulgence! and not having to bake or clean up sounds like Heaven.
    Anne Beale Melbourne Australia

  3. Fabulous - so lovely, well done to the cheesecake bakers :-)

  4. omg YUM!!
    Is there anyway you can share ALL of the recipes? I LOVE cheesecake.

  5. What a wonderful tradition! The only improvement I could make would be a couple times a year!

  6. Kudos to the men! I discovered a similar White Chocolate Raspberry Cheese cake about 7 years ago. My boys loved it. Two of them have now mastered it and love to make it for special occasions. We had one for Christmas. (the boys also belonged to K-State baking club when in college so they aren't afraid to give anything a try!--Great club! One met his wife there!)