Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mini thin mint cheesecakes


Time for another What's Baking challenge! Amanda from Our Italian Kitchen asked each of us to bake mini/bite-sized treats for April. Immediately, my head start swirling around for ideas... mini cakes, mini trifles (in shot glasses, no less), and even donut holes. Hey, they're mini, right?

Then the light bulb went off. Mini cheesecakes! My husband and I enjoy eating cheesecake, but we simply can't eat a full sized one between the two of us. Mini cheesecakes would be the perfect individually portioned snack, and we could easily share leftovers with coworkers or friends.

I wanted something chocolatey and minty and remembered that we ordered Thin Mints from one of our neighbors. I found a mini thin mint cheesecake on Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy that sounded good, so off I went to bake.

I loved these mini cheesecakes. The crust was nice and minty from the crushed Thin Mint cookies, and the cheesecake layer was smooth, creamy and chock full of the crushed mint cookies and chocolate chips. My favorite part of these cheesecakes was that they were portion controlled. No need to decide how large to cut a slice!

Mini thin mint cheesecakes
  • 1 box Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies (can substitute with Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's or Mint Oreos)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Two (2) 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Whipped Cream, optional (for garnishing)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the cookies a few times until coarsely ground and the cookies resemble sand. Or, you can place the cookies in a resealable clear bag and crush them with a rolling pin or another object (like the bottom of saucepan).

In a small mixing bowl, combine half of the crushed cookies with the melted butter and mix until well combined.  Using the back of a spoon, press about one teaspoon of the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of each paper liner. Place in the refrigerator and cool for about 30 minutes.

While the cookie crumb base is chilling, make the cream cheese filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Individually add the eggs and mix well until the first one is fully incorporated before adding the second egg. Beat until both eggs are well combined.

While the mixer is still running, add the peppermint and vanilla extracts and beat for one additional minute.

Stop the mixer and gently stir in the remaining cookie crumbs (you may want to save a few tablespoons for garnishing), and the chocolate chips.

Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 25-28 minutes or until set.  The cheesecakes will jiggle slightly when they are fully baked.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer each individual cheesecake to a wire cooling rack. Allow cheesecakes to cool completely and then transfer to your refrigerator for several hours until the cheesecakes are fully chilled.

If desired, garnish each cheesecake with a swirl of whipped cream and the reserved cookie crumbs.

Yield: 12 standard muffin-sized cheesecakes



Source: Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

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