Last weekend while our families were in town, Erajh and I had the idea of inviting everyone over for dinner on Friday night before Greenleigh’s party on Saturday. We quickly set a menu, determined who would make what, and decided that we would have dinner on our back patio (due to our ridiculously small kitchen and dining room). Erajh would grill and I would make the side dishes and dessert. But then it rained. Really hard. For a long time. So much for our plan to have a leisurely meal on the patio. We quickly moved the dinner inside and began to rearrange our plans. Then the repair man came to fix our hot water heater that had “exploded” the day before – a post for another day, just know that a good portion of my upstairs and downstairs was soaked for much of the weekend… In short, it was chaos, and desert was forgotten. For that day at least.
But I just couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe for mini cheesecakes that I had found a while ago. Even if I didn’t have a crowd of people to bake for, I decided to just try it – then I would know if they were really that good. Could cheesecake really be that easy to make? I’ve never made a cheesecake before, so I wasn’t sure. Best to try it first, right? I decided to change it a bit, making my own Oreo crust for the bottom, but stuck to the recipe for everything else.
You will need:
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
10-12 Oreo cookies
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 375. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins.
Step 2 – Crush Oreo cookies until fine. I used my small Cuisinart’s “Grind” function to do this, but I’ve heard others just crush the cookies and it turns out just the same. The Cuisinart definitely saved me some time though – forty-five second and they were done!
Step 3 – Add melted butter to the finely ground cookie crumbs. I didn’t use any specific amount, I just added butter until the mixture started to stick together. It didn’t take more than 2 tablespoons or so to get it to the perfect consistency (although as you can see, I originally melted much more than that).
Step 4 – Spoon the cookie crumb crust mixture into the cupcake liners and press down firmly using the back of a spoon. You want it to be firmly packed. I actually did this while the liners were still in the pan, but took one out so you could see how it is firmly packed.
Step 5 – In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well blended. Add the eggs and lemon juice, then continue mixing.
Step 7 – Bake for 6 minutes, then remove from oven. Drop chocolate chips into the cream cheese batter and allow 1-2 minutes to melt. The original recipe said 4-5 chocolate chips, but I used lots more than that…I love chocolate. Once melted, swirl using a knife or a tooth pick. Put back in oven for another 9 minutes.
It turns out cheesecakes really can be that easy – minimal ingredients, 15 minutes in the oven, and hardly any mixing time at all! The only thing I would change about this recipe is the baking time or temperature. Mine weren’t burned, but many of them came out a bit more toasty than “golden brown”. It could just be my oven, but in the future, I will reduce the cooking temperature to 350 degrees or reduce the time by 2 minutes. I will be making these again!