Bite-Sized Perfection

If I asked you to name the perfect flavor combination, what would you say? Tomato and Basil? Garlic and Cumin? Garlic and Lime?

If you’re at all like me (at least when it comes to desserts), there’s only one answer to that question.

Chocolate + Peanut Butter = True Love Perfection A Match Made in Heaven The Ideal Combination

Bring that to a bite-sized cheesecake and there’s no getting around it – you’ve got some good stuff.

This recipe came from the now-defunct Cooking for Two magazine, and while I appreciate a scaled-down dessert (after all, do we really NEED an entire batch? Want, yes. Need, probably not.), I was not keen on the idea of dealing with two tablespoons of egg. So, I increased the recipe by 50% and used an entire large egg. That way, I’m not wasting part of an egg, and the recipe still only made nine mini cheesecakes, which I think is an acceptable number. I shared some with a couple of friends, and my favorite taste tester had a couple, which meant I only ate one (and a couple extra Reese cups). Not bad!

Mini PB Cheesecakes

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 Reese PB cups, unwrapped (I feel like this should be obvious… please don’t bake them in the foil!) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line nine muffin cups with liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork. Spoon a tablespoon (or so) of crust mixture into each prepared muffin cup and press them into the bottom of each liner. (I use my shot glass measuring cup for this!) Bake the crusts for about 5-7 minutes, then remove from the oven.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat until smooth, then add in the egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one more time.

Place one PB cup in the center of each crust. Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake until set*, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.

*Here’s my tip for helping prevent cracking with these cheesecakes. Rather than deal with a large water bath, I simply placed a metal 9″ x 13″ pan on a lower rack in the oven and filled it with warm water. I then bake the cheesecakes on the other rack, set in the middle of the oven, over the water. I should say that I actually have no idea if this is what kept them from cracking, but since I’d like to think it was. 🙂 

From Cooking for Two, Winter 2009

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