Friday, February 25, 2011

Caramel Cheese(cup)cakes

Cheesecake cupcakes seems redundant. However, cheesecakes sounds sort of gross even though I like cheese. Cheese(cup)cakes it is. Well, I'm going to share a yummy creation I made based off of a recipe from my trusty Betty Crocker Simply Desserts.

I thought the Caramel Cappuccino Cheesecake picture looked good, buuuuut I don't like coffee nor have I ever made a cheesecake before. I've been meaning to forever, but never seem to just have the 32 ounces of cream cheese many recipes call for. My other hesitation has been due to how amazing my Uncle Galen's cheesecakes were. He passed away 6 years ago, but everyone in my family still raves about his cheesecakes. It's a lot to be compared to!

Anywho, cream cheese was on sale so I bought enough, but realized I didn't have any chocolate cookies as called for to make the crust. And the experimentation begins. I had half a bag of Rold Gold Dark Dipped Chocolate Pretzels and half of a sleeve of Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Creme, naturally, I crushed them up and ended up with about 2 cups crushed pretzel/cookie combo. 

Makeshift crust ingredients.
So, not only did I not have the cookies for the crust, I had already packed up my springform pan since I am moving out of my apartment this next week. Improvising again, I thought it would be great to make cupcake sized cheesecakes instead. (I also am reconsidering my packing skills, as I didn't have a spring-form pan, but obviously had cupcake pans...Shouldn't all kitchen stuff get boxed together?)

Here's what you will need to replicate what I made:

3-4oz. chocolate covered pretzels, crushed
3-4oz. TimTams, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

32 ounces cream cheese, softened (4 - 8oz. bricks)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3+ cup caramel topping

3/4 cup whipping cream
3-4 Tablespoons powdered sugar (to taste)
2+ Tablespoons caramel topping

Here's how I did it:

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line cupcake tin with liners - I used my jumbo tins (12 total) so please adjust amount of crust as needed.

2. Crush desired cookies. (It called for a 1 1/4 cup crushed cookies but I used just under 2 cups.)

3. Mix crumbs with butter. Drop just less than 1 Tablespoon into the bottom of the cupcake liner. Press flat with spoon. Refrigerate while prepping filling.

4. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating until well combined after each addition. Add vanilla, cinnamon and caramel topping and beat until well blended. Drop about 1/2 cup mixture into each cupcake.

5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheese(cup)cakes will be slightly jiggly still. Betty Crocker suggests turning the oven off and opening the door at least 4 inches while leaving the pans in there for another 30 minutes. I did this and am not sure exactly what it was supposed to accomplish...

6. Cool 30 more minutes outside of oven before refrigerating for at least 6 hours or, as I did, overnight, covered. If you are planning on serving these at some sort of gathering, I think it looks best if you remove all the cupcake liners as seen in the first picture and the last picture.

7. To make the whipped cream, combine powdered sugar with whipping cream and beat on high until soft peaks form. Drop a dollop on top of each cheese(cup)cake and spread around to fill liner. Then drizzle caramel topping over each one. If you had any extra crushed cookies, you could sprinkle it on top. I did have extra, I just forgot to sprinkle.

That's it! Enjoy! If you'd like to try the version with coffee in it, click here for the original recipe.

Lastly, if anyone has any tips on how to make sure the center does not collapse, please leave me a comment! If you look closely at the picture above. The whipped cream is about half of the cupcake in the middle, while the edges are still high....Does it have something to do with cooling? (I wonder this because when I opened the door and turned the oven off, they were full and hadn't collapsed.)

1 comment:

  1. Mal!!! You have a blog! I am SO excited. I cannot believe I didn't know. I saw it on Michelle's blog but don't worry, I am an official follower now! :) LOVE YOU!



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