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Mini Chocolate Cheesecake Hack

February 11, 2010

I’m a follow the rules kinda gal. I remember once, in third grade (or it may have been second, who really knows?!), we had a follow the written directions kind of test. We were given a piece of paper with about 20 steps on it. The teacher didn’t give us any directions. Just handed out the paper. On the top of the paper it said to read all 20 steps before starting the assignment. Steps 1-19 had various tasks, spelling, math, grammar. Step number 20 said to put our name on the top of the page, don’t do numbers 1-19 and then turn in the assignment. I was the only one who followed the directions. I got a star and I felt all warm and fuzzy.

I think this is why I love baking so much. I probably read any recipe 12 or 13 times before I print it off the website, and commit to making it. It’s taken a few years, but I am finally starting to experiment with my baking. And I want to share my adventures with you. I will always tell you what recipes influenced my own, just in case you want to try the originals, mine don’t always come out as masterpieces!

Oh and pretty much, I just make cheesecake, ’cause cheesecake is the bomb yo! Maybe cookies, or cupcakes, but mostly cheesecake.

I had previously tried making these little adorable cheesecakes from Bakerella, only straying from the recipe to add chocolate chips and make the crust oreo cookies. They were all right. Turns out, chocolate chips don’t melt into pretty swirls with just 20 minutes in the oven, doh! The batter, with 3 eggs, was a bit runny for me too. So with those experience in hand, I was determined to get them right next time. Fast forward about two weeks. JT asked me to bake him something chocolatey last Saturday. I had guests coming in about an hour, and i had limited ingredients, so I made do with what I had.

Turns out, Animal Cookies make just a good of a crust as Vanilla Waffers, Graham Crackers, or Oreo Cookies!

Add a little butter, smash into your cupcake liners, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes to set, yep, yum.

I also didn’t have chocolate chips or baking chocolate. I asked JT three times, are you sure you want something chocolatey? The response all three times was YES MOM! So I pulled out the unsweetened Ghiradelli cocoa powder we use for hot chocolate. Hmmm, this could work…

The dry chocolate really made the batter fluffy!! Look at this batter after it cooked, fluffy!

It came out super yummie too. Joel really liked the consistency, he said it was like a mousse but tasted like cheesecake. Well, yeah, pretty much, nom nom nom!!

Here’s the recipe. It makes six cupcakes (cupcake liners were 2.5 in in diameter, grocery store brand), and took about 15 minutes of prep time, 15 minutes too bake, and 20 min to cool, and 20 minutes to set in fridge. Perfect for a weeknight dessert for your family!

Oh, and I know the photos are the greatest. By the time they came out of the oven at 5, I’d lost all natural light and it was pouring rain, so well, yeah, the last few pictures are not so great.

3oz bag of animal crackers, ground
2 tbs butter, melted

1 pkg (8oz.) of cream cheese, room temperature works best
1 egg
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (don’t forget I’m at sea level!)

Mix crushed animal crackers and 2 tbs of melted butter, smoosh (like that word?) into bottoms of cupcake liners. Spread liners onto cookie or tin tray. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. The smooshed cookies will brown just a bit. Remove from oven.

While crust is setting in oven:
Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffly, don’t over beat. Mix in egg and vanilla separately until combined. Add cocoa powder 1tbs at a time until well blended. Pour batter into cupcake liners with baked crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool 20 min before chilling in fridge (nows a good time to start dinner!). Chill for 20 min. (while you’re eating dinner!) Top with whatever sounds good, berries or I made home made whip cream after dinner was served.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    February 15, 2010 7:21 pm

    Ooh, just the kind of thing Shane and I would love! Ryan doesn’t like cheesecake…his loss! I’m totally trying this recipe…thanks T!

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