Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes (Treats For Co-Irkers)

Cheesecake, How Do I Love Thee (by Mags Barrett Browning)

How do I love thee Cheesecake, let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and size
My thighs can reach.

The end. (Hey, I could have made it into a haiku. Would that have made it any better? Didn't think so.)

This week's Treats For Co-Irkers is also doubling as a birthday cake for our daughter Molly. She'll be 20 on Sunday and I'm feeling a little verklempt (can we tawk?) All three of my kids are now in their 20's and I have to tell you that it's making me feel quite old. Seems like only yesterday I was tearing my hair out with three toddlers and screaming at them to just grow up already. Careful what you wish for, eh?

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

Crust:
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray two mini-cheesecake pans (each pan equals 12 mini-cheesecakes so we're going for a total of 24 with this recipe.) Combine above ingredients and press mixture into the wells of each pan. I used a shot glass to press the crust into the wells. Place cheesecake pans on a cookie sheet (to avoid any butter dripping into your oven.) Bake in oven for 5 minutes then remove to cool slightly.

Turtle layer:
24 caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Combine the caramels and cream and melt until smooth on stove or in microwave. Top each crust with a small amount of caramel then with the chopped pecans. Place pans in freezer for 15 minutes to set this layer so it doesn't become part of the filling.

Filling:
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
20 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave-safe bowl at 15-second increments, until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa with mixer until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, and blend until incorporated into batter. Stir in sour cream and vanilla then add the melted chocolate and combine well.

Distribute batter evenly amongst mini-cheesecake wells. Bake until filling is set, 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack, and then refrigerate at least three hours before unmolding.

Garnish (optional)
caramel topping (the kind you put on ice cream)
chopped pecans
mini chocolate chips

19 comments:

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Beautiful! I especially like the picture with the birthday candle. I could eat 3 or 4 of these right now!

Co Irker said...

Oh.
My.
God.

These are...

I don't know what to say...

Cheesecake so awesome
No words can describe the taste
Oh euphoria

A haiku for you!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
And happy birthday to your daughter.

TGIF!

Mags said...

Jen: I saved 4 back. I'll send one to you!

Co Irker: My cheesecakes inspired a haiku. Consider my work here done...lol Glad you enjoyed them!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

By the way (totally unrelated comment) - the purple pepper from my garden is called "Black Beauty". It's a plant I bought at a local nursery. I have seen assorted colored bell peppers in a seed pack from Burpee, too. I had some luck with those last year and got purple, red, yellow, and white peppers.

Mags said...

Jen, thanks for the info. I'll definitely look for that type of pepper plant next year.

stephchows said...

ok one that poem had me rolling!! two... tawk... it's cawfee tawk!! love it :D

Mags said...

Steph: It's like buttah!

Jennifer said...

I know what I want for my birthday!! :) these are incredible!!

Mags said...

Thanks Jennifer!

Moogie said...

Please ... please!!!!! Move to my neighborhood.

La Table De Nana said...

These are a little work of art:)

oneordinaryday said...

Oh, these are so lovely! I love miniature desserts and you did a wonderful job with these.

Fiber said...

These look amazingly awesome! I will have to give these a try!

Mags said...

Moogie: Only if you teach me how to flambe.

La Table: Thank you!

oneordinaryday: I know! I feel the same way about miniature things.

Fiber: Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Shannalee said...

Those are so adorable! And they look delicious!

I love what you wrote about your kids (especially the use of verklempt, nice touch) and want you to know, from a 26-year-old, we always need our parents, even if not in the same toddler way. My parents are HUGE in my life and some of my best friends. You sound like you're that kind of mom, too.

Mags said...

shanna: thank you. now which one of my kids paid you to post such a flattering and loving comment...lol

seriously.. just thanks

Lisa said...

I am having a hard time finding a mini cheesecake pan in my area. If I used a mini muffin pan, how would I adjust the baking time? Please help! I would love to make these, they look absolutely diving. Also, I can't find dutch processed cocoa in my area, how much natural unsweetened cocoa should I use instead?

Mags said...

Lisa: I've not baked this recipe in muffin tins, but I imagine it would work. You'd just have to adjust the baking time. Regarding the cocoa, I'd use the same amount of regular cocoa as dutch processed. Again, I haven't made them that way, but just guessing it wouldn't make a difference.

Ann C said...

OMG! I am soooo glad I found your recipe... I tried it out on Sunday b/c I owed my co-worker a dessert and this was the bomb! My co-workers loved loved loved these mini cheesecakes! Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful recipe :D Next, I will try the Mini Turtle Brownie Bites!