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Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

by Christa on March 8, 2013

Post image for Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

These mini caramel cheesecakes are stuffed with cookie dough and topped with rich bittersweet ganache. They are rich, creamy and oh-so-decadent! The perfect little fancy cheesecake for any time of the year.

Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

 

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Mini Caramel Cookie Dough Cheesecakes

(makes 24 mini cheesecakes)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I use Oreos)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar

For the cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup caramel topping
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
Dash vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt

For the cookie dough: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (the higher quality, the better)
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly spray a 24-well mini muffin pan* with cooking spray.

2 . For the Cookie Dough: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to stir together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the cookie dough is firm. Scoop out dough in 1 tablespoon scoops and place it on a cookie sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 30 minutes.

2. To make the crust, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until evenly blended.  Divide the crust mixture between the wells of the prepared pan, about 2-3 teaspoons in each.  Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well.  (The bottom of a shot glass or flat utensil is great for this.  I used the bottom of my whisk handle.)  Bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚ F.  To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and caramel topping in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended.  Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and salt.  Continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth.
4. Divide the mixture evenly over the cookie crumb crusts and smooth the tops slightly. Place one cookie dough ball into the center of each cheesecake and push down slightly to cover most of the cookie dough.  Bake just until set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Once completely cool, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours.
5. Once the cheesecakes are well chilled, carefully remove them from the pan.  To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed.  Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated.

6. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes.  (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to whisk every 10 minutes or so.)  Once the ganache has thickened, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes.  (I used a large, unlabeled tip to decorate these.)  Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set.

7. Top with small cookie dough balls and enjoy!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie March 9, 2013 at 10:18 am

Well arn’t these just too cute and fancy?

Reply

Sues March 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

These are basically the prettiest things EVER!

Reply

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