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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes with Chocolate Hearts {Recipe}

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I'll bet that you've been wondering about what I did with the mini peanut butter cups that I mentioned in last week's Secret Santa post,  haven't you?!


If it makes you feel any better, the wait at my home has been just as painful.  You can't imagine the number of inquiries that have been made by my sons over the last couple of days as to whether or not they could finally eat these little cuties.


I have found that one of the benefits of having older children when you're writing a blog post about food (especially sweets), is that there's usually no crying involved when you tell them that they can't eat something until after you've photographed it.


                                                                           ........usually.

Of course, I've also discovered that it's easier when the food being photographed is dessert and not the evening's hot dinner entree'. Don't worry, I'm getting used to eating barely warm food.....you're worth it!  ;)

These mini cheesecakes are perfect for parties. They're easily portable and the "single serving" size also helps most  people with portion control.


                                                                     .......most people.




They are probably the same people who don't need to make extra hearts to allow for taste testing prior to assembling the dessert....

                                                   ......They probably live down the street from me.


The thing that I like best about mini cheesecakes is that they're easy and quick to make. I whipped them up after work on Friday and still managed have dinner with my family and sit down to watch a movie before 9 p.m.




I find that this timing is mandatory if I plan to stay awake long enough to see the end of the movie.

                                                    ......yes, I know.  I'm boring.

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes  

adapted from Paula Deen (via FoodNetwork.com)

Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 graham crackers)
3 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

12 miniature peanut butter cups
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the crust:
Using a fork, stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter together in a medium bowl until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in each well, and press into the bottom to form the crust (I use the back of an ice cream scoop to press them in). Place 1 miniature peanut butter cup on the top of each crust (in the center).
To make the filling: 
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a large bowl and electric mixer), beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy (I used a stand mixer). Add the sugar, flour and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is completely incorporated. Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pan (about 1/4 cup each). You can fill them all the way to the top.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are just barely set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the cheesecakes to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To make the hearts:
Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Melt chocolate chips in a plastic container in hot water. (I used a squeeze bottle but you can also use a plastic zipper bag and cut off the tip of one corner when you're ready to pipe the chocolate).
Pipe a heart (or other shape) onto the waxed paper. Allow it to set for 5 minutes.
Melt peanut butter chips, repeat.
Refrigerate for 5 minutes until completely set.

Serve the cheesecakes garnished with whipped cream chocolate peanut butter hearts.
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes



I think that they're  perfect for Valentines Day...or, if you're one of the guys who live in my home... for Saturday morning breakfast....

xo,

Kimberly