We recently celebrated our oldest son's birthday and, as usual, he requested cheesecake for dessert. I typically make some variation of our family's favorite cheesecake, but on this particular day I simply did not have the 6-8 hours needed to bake and chill a large cheesecake. So I had to come up with a Plan B - which in this case was to make mini cheesecakes that bake and cool in about 2 hours total. An added bonus - they're pretty darn cute and super easy to serve. Here's how they're made.
Instead of making a crumb mixture to put in the bottom of the cupcake liners, I opted make a base with a store-bought cookie. We like these chocolate sandwich cookies.
A whole sandwich cookie is too much, so I split them in half and scraped out the filling.
I placed the halved cookies into the cupcake liners like this.
Then topped each with a level #20 scoop of cheesecake batter. A #20 scoop is the perfect size!
The mini cheesecakes bake for 20 minutes. When they come out of the oven, they'll be puffed up a little over the top of the pan, but they'll sink down like this while you make the topping.
Do not skip the topping - it totally makes these cheesecakes!
Pour the topping over the mini cheesecakes, being sure not to overfill the cupcake liners.
Spread the cheesecake topping evenly and pop the pan back into the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before chilling for at least 1 hour.
Oh my - wish you could taste how amazing these are.
Here's the recipe so you can make them yourself. Enjoy!
Mini NY Cheesecakes
12 chocolate sandwich cookies, split apart and cream filling removed
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
16 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place 1 cookie half in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, beat the filling ingredients together until smooth.
Use a #20 scoop to portion the batter evenly into each cupcake liner; bake for 20 minutes (for best results, bake one pan at a time).
While the cheesecakes are baking, whisk the topping ingredients together until smooth.
Remove cheesecakes from oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes (they will deflate and sink in the middle - this is a good thing).
Divide topping evenly over cheesecakes (or fill the mixture reaches the rim of the cupcake liner); return to oven for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Chill for 1 hour before serving.