Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini-Cheesecakes


So what can I possibly say about this decadent dessert? I think the name itself speaks volumes. First of all, I love chocolate chips cookies. I mean, really, really love them. And then there’s cookie dough. Well, I know I’m not the only one who’s purchased a package of dough with the intention of making chocolate chips cookie, only to eat spoonful after spoonful… even though it’s considered “risky” because of the raw eggs. The good news about this recipe is that you don’t have to worry about salmonella as the cookie dough doesn’t contain any eggs!! Woo hoo! Okay, next up is cheesecake. Simply put, I can’t get enough of it! And the combination of cookie dough and cheesecake together, is like a little slice of heaven! I highly recommend you try this recipe if you adore all of the above as much as I do!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Cheesecake

  • 8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cookie Dough

  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray mini-cheesecake pan with cooking spray (you can also use a muffin pan with cupcake liners). Set aside.
  2. Mix the melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and going up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.
  3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour a little bit at a time, on low-speed, and mix until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and blend in with a spoon. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, using a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low-speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.
  5. Using your hand, form round teaspoon-sized clumps, and distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top (cookie dough) feels dry. Since cooking times vary with different ovens, I’d recommend checking them at 20 minutes.
  7. Move pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  8. Remove mini-cheesecakes by pushing up on the bottom of pan. *
  9. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

Note: You may think that baking the cookie dough will produce an actual cookie, but since it doesn’t contain eggs, it won’t truly “mature” into a real cookie, and ends up tasting like cookie dough 🙂

* If you’re not familiar with mini-cheesecake pans, they’re basically like muffin pans except the cups are thinner and taller, and there are holes in the bottom. They come with small, round discs which lay in the bottom, on top of the circular holes, so you can push up the bottom with your finger or the end of a wooden spoon to get a nice looking mini-cheesecake. I recently bought one of these pans from Amazon made my Chicago Metallics that cost about $13.

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Oh-So-Yummy Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake


You wouldn’t know it by the weather here in Southern California right now, but it IS officially fall, and Halloween and Thanksgiving are right around the corner. And, as much as I adore summer, I have to admit, I’m a big fan of both holidays, especially turkey day because of all of the incredible food! Last year, I was invited to someone’s house for the holiday, and was in charge of bringing a couple of dishes – one being dessert. Since I’m a huge cheesecake lover, I decided to go with a pumpkin cheesecake, and I must tell you, it received rave reviews! That same cheesecake actually won a bake-off contest at work! Need I say more? Rest assured, this recipe will not disappoint, and people will be asking you for it!

Topped with low-fat whipped cream, candied pecan pieces and drizzled caramel.

Ingredients

  • 38 Nabisco Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (I like to use candied pecans)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325.
  2. Mix crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended.
  4. Add pumpkin, spice and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low-speed after each just until blended.
  6. Pour into crust.
  7. Bake 1 hour 20 min. to 1 hour 30 min., or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim.
  8. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Recipe adapted from Kraft.

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Unbelievable Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars


I went back to work today after being out for four months due to back surgery. I knew I wanted to bring in a tasty treat for my co-workers, just to remind them how much they missed me 😉 I contemplated making one of my delicious cupcake recipes, but decided to take it up a notch with these cheesecake bars… and am so glad I did. They were loved by all!

Ingredients

Crust

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 1/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (from about 17 whole graham crackers)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 3 (8 oz) packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup purchased dulce de leche*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup purchased dulce de leche
  • 3 tbsp (or more) heavy whipping cream

*A thick, sweet sauce made from caramelized sugar in milk or from sweetened condensed milk; available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores and at Latin markets.

Directions

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray.
  3.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  4. Add melted butter; stir until coated.
  5. Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan.
  6.  Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes.
  7. Cool completely on rack.

Filling

  1. Blend cream cheese and sugar in bowl with mixer until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl.
  2. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating 3 to 5 seconds to blend between additions.
  3. Add dulce de leche and vanilla; mix until blended, about 10 seconds.
  4. Spread batter evenly over cooled crust.
  5. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 38 minutes.
  6. Transfer to rack; cool completely.

Glaze

  1. Heat dulce de leche and 3 tbsp cream in microwave-safe bowl in 10-second intervals until melted.
  2. Stir to blend, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if too thick to pour (amount of cream needed will depend on brand of dulce de leche).
  3. Pour glaze over cooled cheesecake; spread evenly.
  4. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour (glaze will not be firm). Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.

Cut cheesecake lengthwise into 4 strips, then crosswise into 6 strips, forming 24 bars.

Creamy Vanilla Cheesecake w/Caramel Topping


Love to indulge in the sweets, but feel guilty about the calories? You won’t with this recipe! A healthier, lower-calorie take on cheesecake 🙂

Photo credit: Betty Crocker

Ingredients

  • 15 reduced-fat chocolate or vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (1/2 cup) (or graham crackers)
  • 2 pkgs (8 oz each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups vanilla low-fat/light yogurt
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fat-free caramel topping
  • Pecan halves (if desired)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 300. Spray springform pan, 9×3 inches, with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle cookie crumbs over bottom of pan.
  3. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl w/electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add sugar, egg whites and vanilla. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Add yogurt and flour. Beat on low until smooth.
  6. Carefully spread batter over cookie crumbs in pan.
  7. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven; cool in over 30 minutes with door closed.
  8. Cover & refrigerate at least 3 hours. Drizzle caramel topping over cheesecake and garnish w/pecan halves.

1 serving: Cal 175, Total Fat 7 g, Chol 25 mg, Sodium 180 mg, Total Carbs 23 g, Protein 5 g