Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake Bites

Last night I had a Christmas ornament exchange at my house with a wonderful group of girlfriends. I met these women a few years ago through Zumba classes that we attended regularly (anyone else a Zumba fan? Love it!) and we became good friends outside of class. We've done lots of things together including these annual holiday get-togethers. These are fun, supportive, kindhearted women that are just real. I appreciate each of them for so many reasons, one of which is their ability to make me laugh. Hard! Last night was a riot. To protect the innocent (and not so innocent), I'm going to invoke my 5th amendment right and not give any details of what was said during the party for fear of incriminating myself or others. Let's just say these normally nice gals get a little cutthroat when there's an ornament they want. Who knew ornaments could elicit such hilarious commentary?! My sides hurt from all the laughing.

As is the case with most parties, there were lots of appetizers that these lovely ladies brought, and OH MY GOODNESS they were wonderful! My contribution were these Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake Bites. I found this recipe about 6-7 Christmases ago during the Food Network's annual 12 Days of Treats thing that they do and I've made them every year since then. These little bites are rich, creamy, and chocolatey with just a hint of peppermint - decadence at its finest! Normally I make them as the original recipe recommends, in an 8x8 pan and then cut them into squares, but I thought I'd test-drive my new mini cheesecake baking pan so I adapted the recipe slightly to make these mini cheesecake bites. Below are directions for both the mini cheesecake pan and an 8x8 pan. Any way you slice it, they'll be a hit at your holiday party.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake Bites
Adapted from the Food Network Kitchens
Printable version
Makes about 20 mini cheesecakes or 16 squares

Ingredients
Crust:
20 chocolate wafer cookies (I use Famous Chocolate Wafers, or you can try Oreos)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee (I use Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso that I always have on hand)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Filling:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use Ghirardelli)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Glaze:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Ghirardelli)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons light or dark corn syrup
3 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Thins, chopped or the Peppermint Crunch baking chips. If you can't find these, you can used crushed candy canes, but I think the Andes tastes even better

For the crust: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray each cup of the mini cheesecake pan with cooking spray. If using a pan, line an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil.

Process the chocolate wafers in a food processor with the butter, sugar, coffee, and salt until fine. Fill each cup of the mini cheesecake pan with 1 T. of crumb mixture and press down using the bottom of a small measuring cup or bottom of a clean spice jar. If using a pan, press the crust into the prepared dish, covering the bottom completely and using the bottom of a measuring cup to help press it in place. Bake until the crust sets, about 10 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes if using the 8x8 pan.

For the filling: 
While the crust is baking, melt the chocolate. I prefer to do this using the double boiler method - fill a saucepan with about an inch of water, bring it to a low simmer, then place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl thats large enough to fit in the pan but not touch the bottom. Set the bowl over the simmering water without letting the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. You can also microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl at 75-percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or burn the chocolate. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, up to 2 minutes more. Set aside.

Wipe the crumbs out of the food processor. Blend the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream together in the food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the eggs and pulse until just incorporated. With the food processor running, pour the chocolate into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Fill each cup with about 2 tablespoons of filling. Do not overfill. If using a pan, pour filling over the crust. Bake until the filling puffs slightly around the edges but is still a bit wobbly in the center, 15-17 minutes. If using the 8x8 pan, bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Place pan on a rack to cool while preparing glaze.

For the glaze: 
Melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a double boiler. Or use a microwave-safe bowl and heat at 75-percent power until melted, about 2 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burnt spots). Stir the ingredients together until smooth; add the sour cream. Top each mini cheesecake with enough glaze to fill any indentation and to cover evenly. If using the 8x8 pan, spread the glaze evenly over the warm cake. Sprinkle the peppermint crunch bits over top. Cool completely, and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Pop each mini cheesecake carefully out of the pan. If they seem difficult to remove, try using a thin knife dipped in hot water and carefully run the knife around the edge to loosen it up. If using the 8x8 pan, cut into small squares. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Store the cheesecake bites covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


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53 comments:

  1. You are ruining my diet with your yummy food posts!! I kid, I kid but seriously, now I want to bake! :)

    Come visit our Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you will!! It's a great and easy way to get followers to your lovely blog/website or to your Twitter/Facebook, etc...
    Link up your website and pages too! Aloha Friday Blog Hop {HERE}

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    1. LOL! I'm ruining my own diet too! :) Thanks for the reminder about Aloha Friday. See you over there! Sharon

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  2. Found you through the Aloha Friday blog hop and following you :-) Feel free to visit my blog anytime dear.

    Kisses Keke (Pakize)

    http://madamekeke.blogspot.com

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  3. Oh dear. These look like trouble. They sound (and look) absolutely incredible! I never used to like mint in desserts, but I'm finally coming around ;-) Thanks for the recipe, I hope to give them a try soon!

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  4. Those look wonderful! I really like the idea of having them in circles rather than the traditional square. To be honest, I didn't even realize that there was such a thing as mini-cheesecake pans! Thanks!

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    1. I wasn't sure how they made mini cheesecakes either until recently. Since I just bought the pan, I've got to think of more ways to use it. :) Thanks for stopping by. Sharon

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  5. These look so delicious! I would love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday - Tuesday) at 'Or so she says ...' Hope to see you there! www.oneshetwoshe.com

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  6. Hey! Stopping by from the Aloha blog hop...glad I found your blog, now following you! :)

    Lolalucy09.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much Kristen! They are so good. I can't not make them now for the holidays according to my family. :) Thanks for stopping by. Sharon

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  8. These look delicious!! I would love for you to come link this up to my party going on! http://alivedinhome.blogspot.com/2012/12/get-social-sunday_9.html

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    1. Thanks so much! I just linked and I appreciate you stopping by. :) Sharon

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  9. WOWWWWW These look soooooooooooo rich and scrumptious = just perfect treats for the holidays!

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    1. Thank you Winnie! I love the cake in your profile picture. Yum!

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  10. Hi Sharon. Sounds like a fun night. I love getting together with a group of girls and just laughing the night away. It's just so good for the soul. Your chocolate cheesecake looks decedent and I'm sure there wasn't anything left over.

    You know I have never tried Zumba, but I have a friend who loves it. I many have to give it a try sometime. I'm not to coordinated when it comes to dancing though. I used to be a cheerleader way back so you would think that I would be a bit more coordinated!
    Jackie

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    1. One of the reasons I love zumba is everyone is so busy watching the instructor, no one is really watching you so you can goof up, go the wrong way and it doesn't really matter. I think if you were a cheerleader, you could definitely do it. If you like music and dancing, you would love zumba. I zumba so I can burn off decadent desserts like this. :)

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  11. Those cheesecakes look divine!!! I love how rich and chocolatey they are!!!

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    1. Thanks Jocelyn! They really are as rich and chocolatey as they appear to be. :) Sharon

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  12. Oh these look yummy! I'd love to try them!

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  13. Oh yum, there is nothing in this cakes that I am not drooling over!

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    Replies
    1. Oh they are so good! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  14. how yummy thankyou for the recipe i would love it if you came and shared it at my party at http://www.twiggstudios.com/2012/12/sunday-show-off-linky-party_8.html

    hugs aimee xxx

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  15. These look amazing! I love a good chocolate and peppermint dessert. It's been pinned! Thanks for sharing!

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  16. These look absolutely delish! Would love if you'd join our Countdown to Christmas link party! Hope to see you there! Have a great week! :)
    http://dixie-n-dottie.blogspot.com/2012_12_11_archive.html

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  17. Your Chocolate Cheesecake rounds look so festive and fun! I love that they are "minis" and round - perfect for a party! I'll be pinning this to my Christmas board!

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  18. all i want for christmas is a mini cheesecake pan!

    if you haven't already, we would love to have you stop by the blog for our giveaway!

    smiles to you.

    michele

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    Replies
    1. LOL! I'm going to have to figure out what else I can make in it! Thanks for stopping by. Sharon

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  19. This looks so tasty! Yummers☺ You make Whimsy Wednesday look so good!

    Thanks for joining us,
    Kelly at Smart! School {House}
    http://www.smartschoolhouse.com

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  20. Mmm these look delicious and so festive, too!

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  21. These sound divine! Love chocolate cheesecake, and the bites are so cute!

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    1. Thank you Shauna! Chocolate cheesecake is so good. You just mention it and now I'm craving it again. :) Sharon

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  22. You had me at candy cane! Thanks so much for sharing this fun recipe! It looks easy and fun (which is totally perfect for me)!

    Have a wonderful and Merry Christmas,
    karianne

    PS Pinned it and tweeted it!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Karianne! I appreciate it. Merry Christmas to you too! Sharon

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  23. Sounds very yummy! And the round mini cakes are a looker, too!

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    1. Thanks so much! I love mini foods. Makes me feel like I'm not eating so much, even if I eat 3-4. LOL! Thanks for nice comment. Sharon

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  24. These little cheesecakes sound and look Divine!

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original Link Party is open.

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  25. Oh my goodness, they look and sound so amazingly delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza - Hope to see you there again this week :)

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  26. Hey there, thanks so much for linking up to our Countdown to Christmas link party. We're excited to tell you that your delish Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake! Stop by and grab our feature button! Hope you’ll continue to link up with us! Merry Christmas! :)
    http://dixie-n-dottie.blogspot.com/2012_12_17_archive.html

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I love hearing from you! If your name is linked to an email address, I will respond via email but if it's not ("no-reply commenter"), I'll reply here on the blog. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment!