• Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 16 smaller bars or 9 larger bars

    Prep Time: 5 hours 25 minutes (includes cooling & chilling time)

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    18 Oreo cookies
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.  Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.  Add in the melted butter and process until all of the crumbs are moistened.

    Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down firmly in an even layer.  Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    To make the cheesecake:

    Pour the peanut butter cheesecake filling over the prepared crust.  Spread the mixture evenly over the crust, making sure to smooth the top out as well as possible.  Gently add the chocolate cheesecake filling on top of the peanut butter cheesecake filling and smooth the top out.  Bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (for about two hours).  Transfer to the refrigerator for about 3 hours or until the cheesecake is completely chilled.  Lift the cheesecake out of the pan with the foil and slice into bars.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

  • Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    FOR THE FILLING:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
    1 large egg

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour off the bacon fat and set aside. Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a resealable container and set aside.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and flour and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Once chilled, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle each cheesecake with the glaze. Top with the reserved candied bacon. Serve.

    Inspired by The Food Network

  • Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 18 minutes

    Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

  • Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    How to make Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    Yield: 20 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 5 hours 40 minutes

    Use this Oreo Truffle recipe for the topping and make the following changes: cut the recipe in half and remove the peppermint extract and crushed peppermint. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    30 Oreo cookies
    5 tablespoons butter, melted

    FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

    32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    20 Oreo cookies, quartered

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Oreo truffles

    Directions

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add in the sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the Oreo cookies.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking. Cool the cheesecake completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Pour over the cheesecake, allowing to drip down the sides. Top the cheesecake with the Oreo truffles. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 24

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 12 minutes

    Enjoy two desserts in one with Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars!

    Ingredients

    For the Cookie Layer:

    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup butter, room temperature
    1 Tablespoon molasses
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 eggs, room temperature
    1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided

    For the Cheesecake Layer:

    2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

    Directions

    For the Cookie Layer:

    In bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream sugars and butter together for 3 minutes. Mix in molasses and vanilla. Beat in the eggs until smooth and creamy. Add in the dry ingredients while mixing on low. Mix until almost combined. Fold in 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Place cookie dough in fridge while you make the cheesecake layer.

    For the Cheesecake Layer:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with heavy duty foil and grease with cooking spray.

    With an electric mixer (standing or hand), beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined. Set aside.

    Assembling:

    Use your hands to press half the dough (maybe slightly more) into the bottom of the pan. Pour the cheesecake batter on top. With the remaining cookie dough, dot the top with tablespoon size scoops. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and then bake for 40-42 minutes until cookie dough is golden. Remove from oven and let it cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before cutting and serving.

  • Mini Bananas Foster Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Bananas Foster Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours 38 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 ripe banana, mashed
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 banana, sliced
    1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    For the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the banana, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    For the topping:

    In a medium skillet set over medium heat melt the butter. Add in the sugar and cinnamon and whisk until melted and smooth. Add the banana and allow to soften and brown slightly. Add the bourbon and simmer for a few minutes.

    Top each cheesecake with a small spoonful of the topping. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • No Bake Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 25 minutes

    If you can’t find key limes, substitute with 3 tablespoons regular fresh lime juice plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    Zest of 2 key limes
    1/4 cup key lime juice

    Whipped cream topping:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar

    Key lime slices, for garnish

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this). Set aside.

    For the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the cream, lime zest, and lime juice and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    For the topping:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and vanilla until it begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. If desired, transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes. Garnish with a slice of lime before serving. Serve cheesecakes well chilled, even frozen if you prefer!

  • Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    How to make Cheesecake Filled Chocolate Bundt Cake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the filling:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

    For the cake:

    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon espresso powder
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 3/4 cups (7.87 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2 cups packed light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature

    For the glaze:

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons corn syrup
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    For the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and flour until well combined. Set aside.

    For the cake:

    Combine the cocoa, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth. Let cool to room temperature. When it has cooled, whisk in the sour cream.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and the melted chocolate mixture alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour, until the batter is smooth.

    Pour a little more than half the batter into the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the center of the batter, not allowing it to touch the edges of the pan. Pour the remaining batter of the filling.

    Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out and let cool completely.

    For the glaze:

    In a small saucepan heat the cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisking until smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set at room temperature, about 10 minutes, before serving.

    Adapted from this recipe

  • No-Bake S’mores Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make No-Bake S’mores Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 4 hours 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup heavy cream
    4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    Marshmallow frosting:

    2 egg whites
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 Hershey’s bar, broken into pieces

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this). Set aside.

    For the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the vanilla and cream and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Pour in the melted chocolate. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

    For the frosting:

    Place the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

    Transfer the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating on low speed then gradually increase to high, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined. Remove to a piping bag fitted with a plain open tip, such as the Ateco #808. Pipe a dollop onto each cheesecake.

    If desired, use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the marshmallow. Garnish with a piece of Hershey’s bar. Return to the fridge until ready to serve. Cheesecakes are best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.