Hey guys! Just a quick heads-up that if you order by this afternoon, we’ll be shipping out our last round of Paint and Prose prints that will arrive (as far as it depends on us) by Christmas. We’re offering a free Priority shipping upgrade and a free 5X7 of your choice (just specify which in the notes) for any orders placed through today!
A couple of weeks back, Mandy brought over a dessert when our families got together, and she was a little apologetic about it, saying that it was a bit of an experiment, and she hoped it would taste okay.
Now, I wasn’t the least bit worried. Mandy is an awesome cook/baker, so I had absolute confidence that it would be delicious. I’m happy to say I was right.
It was the best cheesecake I’d had in ages. And I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur, having long claimed it as a favorite dessert (when done right).
So, what was this experimental recipe? Cookie butter cheesecake. I KNOW, right? Even the title sounds decadent. And, believe me, the real thing was even more so. Especially once Mandy drizzled some caramel sauce on top.
Well, guess what I had sitting around in my pantry languishing in a pathetically delicious state of disuse? Yup. Cookie butter.
And since everything is better in miniature, I decided to recreate Mandy’s recipe, using my trusty mini mason jars(one of my favorite kitchen purchases of all time).
Here’s what I started with:
For the batter
- 2 bricks of cream cheese (yes, I know only one is pictured); do yourself a favor and choose the full fat version
- 1/3-1/2 cup of cookie butter
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
For the crust
- 1 – 1 1/2 packages of graham crackers
- 1 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbs of sugar
- 3-4 tbs of butter, melted
I used the Philadelphia Cream Cheese basic cheesecake recipe (that comes on the box) as my base and then altered it by HALVING IT (I didn’t have to do this, certainly, but we didn’t need massive amounts of cheesecake sitting around our house), omitting an egg and adding in 1/3 cup of cookie butter (I didn’t measure, honestly, but the batter is pretty forgiving, so you have some leeway).
Then, I added a TBS of unsweetened cocoa to my crushed graham cracker crust (chocolate cookies would be even better, but I didn’t have any).
Here’s the blow by blow:
::STEP 1:: Preheat oven to 325 F.
::STEP 2:: Place both bricks of (softened) cream cheese into the mixer bowl and whip them on medium/high until smooth. Add in sugar, vanilla, and one egg, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Add in 1/3-1/2 cup of cookie butter and mix again.
::STEP 3:: Crush 1 – 1 1/2 packages of graham crackers (I put mine in the food processor), then mix in melted butter, cocoa powder, and sugar.
Note: You want your graham cracker mixture to be slightly moist and sticky, not sandy. If it’s not, then just add in a bit more melted butter.
Pat graham crackers crusts into the bottom of each jar. Mine are approximately 1/2″ deep.
Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute the cheesecake batter. (I got 15 mini cheesecakes out of my half batch of batter).
Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes. Definitely better to under-bake than to turn it into rubber.
Okay, okay. You might want to let it cool for a few minutes at least. These are actually pretty great straight out of the oven (ask me how I know), but they’re even better chilled and then loaded up with your choice of toppings (one of the main reasons I love minis? PERSONALIZATION!).
If you’re just dying to know why flavor I liked best, my answer is: all of the above. I topped mine with bananas, walnuts, caramel sauce, dulce de leche, whipped cream, and chocolate bits…and it’s was DIVINE! (I also had one plain, and it was fabulous too…you really can’t go wrong here).
This also works great as a full recipe/traditional cheesecake. Just omit an egg (to account for the extra moisture supplied by the cookie butter), use the full amount of ingredients in the recipe on the Philly Cream Cheese package, and follow the baking instructions.
If you have a holiday party to bake for (or, you know, just some kids and a husband who will think you’re extra awesome for making cheesecake just because), you need to make this. I made mine in 35 minutes flat (minus chilling, of course), so they take almost no time at all. Plus, they’re different and delicious!
Any fun Christmas baking ideas to share? I’m always open to suggestions.