Mini Milk Chocolate Topped Cheesecakes
I'm back with my second cheesecake recipe. Three cheers for cheesecake! Especially because these mini milk chocolate topped cheesecakes have three layers. So one cheer per layer (I'm so good at math). It's only right.
K, so first of all, these mini personal cheesecakes are so perfect and cute and beautiful and delicious. And you don't need any uncommon or particular mini round cheesecake pans to make these personal-sized cheesecakes.
Here's the trick: you line a muffin pan with baking cups, the stiff ones without the ridges. Not the flimsy cupcakes liners with the ridges. Although, you could use the latter type in a pinch, if you don't mind having your cheesecakes look more like cheesecake muffins/cupcakes and less like perfect personal-sized cheesecakes made in special personal-sized equipment.
So, back to the baking cups. You line your muffin pan with the baking cups and then you divide the cookie crust and the cheesecake batter between the baking cups. And then you bake them. And then, once the cheesecakes are baked and cooled, you peel off the paper to reveal a smooth, elegant mini cheesecake.
Perfect little cheesecakes, they become. To be drizzled with some rich and creamy milk chocolate. MMMHMMM.
You know personal-sized cheesecakes are always going to be cuter and fancier (synonymous, "cuter" and "fancier" have become thanks to these cheesecakes) than a slice of cheesecake. You know. And all you're doing is dividing the batter between baking cups instead of spreading it into one large pan. Basically the same amount of work for a far superior result, wouldn't you say?
But enough about the size and shape of these milk chocolate topped cheesecakes. Let's get to the flavor.
First, there's the crust. It's a cookie crust (not a cookie dough crust, like the crust in last week's cheesecake recipe). Which means you're simply grinding up any cookies you've got on hand (stale homemade cookies, your favorite store-bought kind - any type will do) with a spoon of powdered sugar and a wee bit of melted butter to form a sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth crust.
Then there's the cheesecake filling. You're gonna blend together the cheesecake ingredients and divide the batter over the crusts. And then bake the cheesecakes.
But there's a little something-something you'll be preparing while the cheesecakes are baking - a tangy sour cream topping to be spread atop the cheesecakes mid-baking.
Because a sweet and creamy cheesecake is great and all, but adding a tangy layer on top adds a new flavor profile, a wonderful kick of tanginess, and the assurance that you're getting a nice balance of flavor and won't be biting into an overly sweet bite of cheesecake.
And lastly, there's our milk chocolate drizzle. Once the cheesecakes are cooled, generously drizzle some melted chocolate over them. Why? Rhetorical.
Buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookie crust. Creamy, sweet, tangy cheesecake filling. Rich milk chocolate drizzle. Fancy and perfect and adorable and incredibly delicious.
Mini milk chocolate topped cheesecakes - I'm coming for you.
Mini Milk Chocolate Topped Cheesecakes
Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
1 cup ground cookies of choice
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
½ stick (2 oz.) butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sour cream, room temp.
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 3 oz. milk chocolate, melted
2. Crust: In a food processor, grind the cookies and measure out one cup. Blend ground cookies with the confectioner’s sugar and butter until a mixture resembling wet sand forms. Press a heaping tablespoon of mixture into the bottoms of the baking cups. Bake for 5 minutes and then set aside to cool slightly.
3. Cheesecake: In a food processor or electric stand mixture, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to divide cheesecake batter evenly over the pre-baked crusts. Bake cheesecakes for about 16 minutes, until just set.
5. Increase oven temperature to 400 F. Stir together the sour cream, tablespoon sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Spoon mixture over each cheesecake cup and spread evenly. Place cheesecakes back into oven and bake an additional 5-8 minutes.
6. Let cheesecakes cool at room temperature. Then, place into the fridge for several hours until cool. Peel off the baking cups from around the cheesecakes and drizzle with the milk chocolate.