I have something a little different (and extra delicious!) for you today. One of my favorite non-photography related things to do is bake! Though I don’t often have the time – or need the extra calories – it is always nice to fill the kitchen the aromas of baking goodness.
I’ve always wanted to take photos while I bake or cook a good recipe that I’d like to share and turn into a blog post, but I’m always either in a hurry or just remember when it’s too late! I was in a tad bit of a hurry here, so my knife cuts are a little messier than I’d like, but that’s ok, they tasted absolutely amazing! :)
Here’s a little story of how I came about this wonderful recipe. It was “Ugly Sweater Day” at work at NBC12 and CW Richmond, and they decided to also have a fun little cookie baking contest to get everyone in the Holiday spirit. At first, it was just a suggestion to bring cookies if you want, no big deal. I was planning on making my ginger bread cookies that I love, but aren’t anything super special. Then, the GM decided that he wanted to up the ante and offer a $100 gift card to the favorite dessert! At that moment, I was determined to win! So I pulled up google and searched for “best desserts ever”. Seriously, I think that’s what I typed :) I hunted for a while, using a strategy of small, bite-sized and something most people find appealing. When I came across this recipe from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures, I knew it was the one! I LOVE anything made of cream cheese and extra love anything with Oreos, they have my heart! Truly.
Only about 12 people brought in desserts and we had a blind voting system with everything laid out on a table with a number. Everything was so delicious! But my cream cheese/Oreo strategy worked and I won! I was so excited! And even happier that I took the photos while baking so I can proudly post this “award winning” recipe. So thank you, Tracy for your amazing website for helping me in my win! The only thing I did differently was use regular Oreos, she used peanut butter (I didn’t even know those existed!)
Oreo Cheesecake Bites with Chocolate Ganache:
10 Oreo Cookies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (light is fine), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon corn syrup
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on opposite sides to use as “handles” to lift the cheesecake out with afterward.
[Note: you can double the recipe and bake in a 13×9-inch pan if you need to feed a bigger crowd. The baking time may be slightly longer if you go this route]
Make the Crust: Add the Oreos to a food processor and process until finely crushed (if you don’t have a food processor, you can put the Oreos in a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin or meat tenderizer like I did).
Transfer the crumbs to a bowl – you should have about 1 1/4 cups. Add the melted butter and the salt and use a fork to mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer to the prepared pan and press into a thin layer over the bottom to form the crust.
Make the Filling: Add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. You certainly can do this with a hand mixer, but I love when I have the chance to break out my beautiful KitchenAid!
Stir in the chopped Oreos. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and smooth into an even layer. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is nearly set (it should jiggle just a tiny bit if you shake the pan). Remove the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make the Ganache: When the cheesecake is nearly cool, add the chopped chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it reaches a simmer then pour it over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then gently whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Add the peanut butter and corn syrup, whisking until incorporated.
Allow to cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the cooled cheesecake and spread into an even layer.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, lift the cheesecake out using the foil “handles” then cut into bite-sized pieces. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or frozen. Defrost in the fridge before serving.
I mean, seriously, how amazing do these look?? I promise they taste even better. These little babies DO NOT disappoint! And they didst last long at all, I saw many people notice the empty plate with the sign and frown about not getting to try one. Looks like I’ll be making these again soon. Maybe a double batch this time :)
Thanks for stopping by, I’d love for you to try out this recipe if you get the chance. And if you do, please let me know how they turn out!