Voila! 4 different mini cheesecakes from 1 batch

Mini Cheesecakes for the New Year

Mini Cheesecake PanSee Updates Below. I’ve made these a few times since the original post and have made some changes. Items NOT to do are crossed out, items TO do are in green.

I got a fancy schmancy new mini cheesecake pan from my hubby for Christmas so I gave it a try on New Year’s Day. It’s nice and heavy so it’s not going to warp over time or anything, and the bottoms are just little round disks that fit in each cup so you can just press them up from the bottom to get the cheesecakes out. No more fussing with forks and knives to try and magically make them pop out and look beautiful!

There was a good recipe on the box of the pan but it called for a crust made out of chopped nuts which I didn’t have. So I went online to find a mini cheesecake recipe that used a graham cracker crust instead. It was surprisingly difficult! Apparently these days people prefer a crust made from vanilla wafers. So in the end I used a combination of about 5 different recipes to make my mini cheesecakes. Here are the results:

Meg’s Mini Cheesecakes
Makes about 12 or more 20 2″ cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • 2 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 C margarine 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 2 – 8oz packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6-12 maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache (optional)

  • 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
  • 6oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Grease the cups of a mini cheesecake pan with shortening (or spray with cooking spray; I don’t like to use that stuff because it leaves a sticky film on all my baking things)
  3. Graham cracker crumbs pressed into bottoms of mini cheesecake panCombine graham cracker crumbs with margarine melted butter and 1/2 C white sugar. Mix with a fork until the mixture is evenly combined and crumbly. Press 1 Tbsp of the mixture into the bottoms of the cheesecake pan cups. (I went a little up the sides too, but that ended up being too much crust, so I’d recommend sticking to just the bottoms)
  4. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until silky smooth with no lumps. (Optional: Split the cheesecake batter in half and add the chocolate chips to one half). Spoon on top of the graham cracker crusts, filling nearly to the top.
  5. Cheesecake batter spooned into the mini cheesecake pan cupsBake for 15 minutes 25 minutes.
  6. Optional: Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan bring heavy whipping cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Do not stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then stir until the chocolate mixture is smooth and let cool for another 15 minutes.
  7. When the cheesecakes are done, place the pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes to cool. Use a butter knife to gently loosen and remove the cheesecakes (if you’re using a pan like mine where the bottoms are separated from the rest of the pan, you can loosen the edges of the cheesecakes and press the bottoms up to easily get the cheesecakes out.)
  8. Press one maraschino cherry into the tops of the plain cheesecakes. Spread chocolate ganache on the tops of the chocolate chip ones. I also left some of the chocolate chip cakes without chocolate ganache, and on some of the ones with cherries I put a dollop of ganache on top and pressed the cherry into that.

*Notes for next time: Less margarine in the crust… or actually use margarine. I used Crisco. The crust didn’t bake the way I wanted it to; it just sort of crumbled to pieces. Also, less sugar in the crust too. Turns out, graham crackers already have a ton of sugar in them so adding more into the crust was a bit of overkill. Then again, I dislike super-sweet things so those who like sugarsugarsugarsugar can probably keep the sugar in the crust. I may also not fill the cheesecake cups to the top with batter. The first batch I made came out of the oven after 15 minutes, cooled completely, and when I tried one it was still gooey in the middle, though the edges and top looked done. Bake longer, or fill with less batter. Or both.

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