Tag Archives: Cheesecake

Mini Cheesecake Bites

6 May

My big sister made these awesome little cheesecake bites for our brother’s wedding last month. She made three flavors: plain, chocolate chip, and caramel pecan. The funny part was that she didn’t really think about recipe yield when she started off, and just followed the standard recipe… for all three of them. Since she went with mini, she ended up with over 200 cheesecake bites. We had enough for the rehearsal dinner AND for the dessert buffet at the wedding!

Everyone’s favorite was the caramel pecan. What do you think? Which one would be your favorite? Or would you create a new flavor? The cool thing about this recipe is that it’s easy to swap toppings to customize your own. Chips, nuts, candies, jams, syrups… so much could work here.

Caramel Pecan

Chocolate chip was pretty good too, though I would prefer it to be a little more chocolate-y. Maybe Oreos? Or a fudge layer? I might have to think about that and try this recipe again.

Chocolate Chip

Mini Cheesecake Bites adapted from KraftRecipes.com

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Optional toppings: chocolate chips, caramel ice cream topping and pecans, chopped fruit pieces, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix graham crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, and butter until well-blended. Press onto bottoms of paper-lined mini muffin tin cups.

Spread desired toppings over crust: (1) For plain, skip this step. (2) For chocolate chip, add chocolate chips. (3) For caramel pecan, add caramel ice cream topping and crushed pecans.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, and vanilla with mixer until thoroughly blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed after each one until just blended. Pour over crusts. Sprinkle a few more pieces of selected toppings.

Bake 15-18 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

Linking up with:

YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Monday Meet Up from Covered in Grace
Market Yourself Monday from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Time for a Party from Fine Craft Guild
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Anything & Everything Link-Up from My Thrifty Chic and The Sapphire Bee
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Blog Link Party from Somewhat Simple
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately

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Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

13 Nov

I was recently invited to a friend’s birthday party, and the birthday lady requested to hang out with friends, play games, and eat cheese. Sounds like a perfect celebration to me. All the guests were asked to bring some dish to share that had cheese. Of course I wanted to bake something, which logically led to cheesecake. But then I heard that another party-goer was bringing baked goods. What? Excuse me? Does he have a baking-themed blog that he painstakingly updates every few months? I don’t think so. Clearly, I needed to up the ante. No more plain classic cheesecake. Enter… brownie caramel cheesecake. Perfect. (You can see the original recipe I found here.)

Betsy came over to help me out with this one, and we started off by preheating the oven to 350 F and greasing my 9″ springform pan. In a medium bowl, we mixed together 1 package brownie mix, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon cold water. We spread that into the pan and baked it for 25 minutes.

That's not my arm!

While it baked, we worked on the caramel. We unwrapped a whole bag of individual caramels. This is where I deviated from the recipe a bit. It called for a 5-oz can of evaporated milk, which I didn’t have. So instead I mixed in about 5 tablespoons butter and a few spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk to thin it up a bit. This worked out pretty well, except it was a bit tough, so I recommend testing out the evaporated milk route and see if that works better. Once everything was all melted together, we set aside about 1/3 cup of the caramel mixture in a bowl and got to work on the cheesecake part.

Mmm... melty caramel

In a large bowl, we beat 2 (8 oz) packages softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1 teaspoon of almond extract until smooth. I’ll be honest, the only reason I used almond is because I ran out of vanilla. We then added 2 eggs, one at a time, beating just slightly between each one. The key to a good cheesecake, as Betsy says, is to not beat it too much, which allows air to get into the batter, causing cracks when it bakes.

Cheesecake Batter

This was just in time to pull the brownie base out of the oven. I poured the caramel mixture into the pan, keeping that small amount I set aside for later. Then I poured the cream cheese mixture overtop the caramel, spreading evenly to the edges. We popped it into the oven.

Caramel LayerCheesecake Layer

The recipe says to bake it for 40 minutes. We baked it probably a total of 50 because the center looked like it wasn’t finishing. The problem was, the crust over-baked. Next time, I’ll bake the brownie crust for probably half the time. Anyway, the results were still amazing.

After we pulled the cheesecake out and popped the ring off the springform pan, we set out to top it with caramel and chocolate. Betsy poured the caramel in, but it was really thick, so we ended up with large globs instead of a pretty stream. No matter. I spread the caramel into wide zig-zap stripes. (If you use the evaporated milk instead of the butter like we did, your caramel may not be thick enough for this, but you should be able to pull off a nice drizzle.)

That caramel is not really pouring so well

Next I melted 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons butter in the microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was perfectly smooth. Then I spooned chocolate on top of the cake in between the caramel zags. We made a few drips of chocolate — whoops! So to cover them up, we just decided to drip chocolate polka dots all over the caramel. Perfect. By the time we were done, the entire top of the cake was covered in either caramel or chocolate, and it looked simply amazing.

Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

And I must say, later that night, after the birthday lady blew out the candles, it tasted amazing. It was very rich, so everyone just needed a small slice, which really helped make such a small cake go a long way. And as I mentioned above, the crust was a little tough, but that’s easily remedied next time. Definitely a recipe I’ll be coming back to.

I'm ready for my close-up