Friday, March 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Mini Cheesecakes

A couple weeks ago Sean and I had planned to have dinner with his parents, as we hadn't seen them in quite awhile. I decided that it was my guestly duty to bring dessert, and knowing that cheesecake is a favorite of both Sean and his step-dad, I set off on a mission to decide what kind of cheesecake to make. I narrowed it down to 2: these peanut butter chocolate cheesecakes or raspberry swirl cheesecakes. Since it was still February at the time, the richer peanut butter chocolate won out over the summery raspberry cheesecake, and boy did that decision pay off!

This mini cheesecake was wonderfully rich while still being fluffy and not too sweet. The ganache topping is decadent and thick, so turning them into muffin-size cheesecakes was the right choice. I don't think I could handle a whole slice of this, but I'm sure some dessert lovers could. This recipe is also perfect for mini-mini cheesecakes, and would be a lovely addition to a party or event as a small bite size dessert. However large your sweet tooth is, the choice is yours!

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes, or 24 mini-mini cheesecakes
For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I use Oreos and crush the whole cookie, with the icing)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. sugar

For the cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
Dash vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pan with 12 liners (or conversly, if you have a silicone muffin pan, spray it with cooking spray. An interesting product I saw recently that I'm hoping to purchase sometime in the future can be found here: Norpro brand mini cheesecake pan. It's a mini muffin pan where the bottoms can be pushed out, perfect for making mini cheesecakes without needing to use liners!)

To make the crust, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until evenly blended. Divide the crust mixture between the wells of the prepared pan, about 2-3 tablespoons in each. Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well. (The bottom of a shot glass or something similar is great for this. I used a tin from Davids Tea (amazing place by the way- if you enjoy looseleaf tea!)) Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚ F. To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth. Divide the mixture evenly over the cookie crumb crusts and smooth the tops slightly (I found that rather than trying to smooth the surface with a spoon or knife, giving the pan a good couple jiggles and bangs on the counter worked best). Bake just until set, about 21 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Try to catch the cheesecakes before they end up cracking- you really have to pay attention in the last few minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Once completely cool, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours.

Once the cheesecakes are well chilled, carefully remove them from the pan. To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed. Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes. (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to whisk every 10 minutes or so.) Once the ganache has thickened, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes. Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set.

Source: Annies Eats

Enjoy with a glass of milk, yum!

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word! I have been wanting cheesecake SO badly lately! The ingredients for these are going on my grocery list and I AM making these in the next week! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Oh, and I love all your pictures :)