For the past twenty years or so, my mother has made a divine chocolate-chip cheesecake which most of my siblings and I requested on a regular basis for our birthday celebrations throughout our childhood/teenage years. I thought that someday I would make tasty cheesecakes, and have the skills of my mom in the cheesecake-baking department. Fast-forward to today. Five years after moving out of my parents' house to live on my own, I still enjoy a good piece of cheesecake every now and then (mostly at the exorbitantly priced Cheesecake Factory), but I've never attempted to make one at home, mostly because I don't own a springform pan.
Finally, a couple weeks ago I found a cheesecake recipe I wanted to try--and could try, since all it required was a muffin tin and some paper liners. Well, it turned out even better than I imagined it would. I loved these little guys. And that is saying something, since usually I have at least a few critical remarks about new recipes I try.
If that's not enough reason for you to go home and make these right away, here are a few more reasons that these are incredible:
1. There is no need for cutting these babies. No complicated fancy slicing techniques you need to master. Just pop 'em out of their muffin papers, and voila! Dessert.
2. You don't have to eat this with a fork. You can, of course, if you'd like to be a little more civilized. But, if you want to pack these for a picnic or a sack lunch, you're good to go without any fork at all. How awesome is that? When was the last time you pulled out a cheesecake for dessert after your turkey sandwich at work?
Mini Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
18 Oreos, 12 left whole and 6 coarsely chopped
1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 275. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place one whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each (pretty much) to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 24 minutes. Transfer tin to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.