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I know Christmas was little while ago now, but I made this delicious dessert with some leftover Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe – Joe’s and I had to share it with you.
A few weeks ago I took it upon myself to help rid my family of some leftover Christmas goodies sitting around our house by making ( get ready, this a long title… ) Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe – Joe Cheesecake Bites ( whew, that took a lot out of me! ). I got the idea from making these Reeses Stuffed Mini Cheesecakess from The Table. They were so amazing, the only thing I did differently was I added a ganache topping which made them even more delicious. After having made those, and seeing how many leftover boxes of peppermint Joe – Joe’s that we still had, I just had to try making it this way. It worked! In fact so much so, that I had to share it with you – plus, it’s the first recipe that I have changed so drastically ( can you tell I’m proud of myself?).
Before I go on, two things I want to mention: 1. I am posting the original recipe from table.io – I’m sorry but I did not get any pictures when I made the Reeses ones, just the peppermint, so I apologize for that. 2. If you are not feeling too adventurous ( because that is what you would have to be feeling in order to try these… ) I would highly recommend just making the original recipe – you won’t be disappointed. ( but between you and me, add the ganache! )
Here is the original recipe
For the Crust:
1 cup graham crackers, finely crumbled
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup half & half
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 Reese’s peanut butter cups, whole
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the graham crackers and melted butter with a spoon. Place muffin liners into each cup and add about 1-2 teaspoons of the crumbled graham crackers to the bottom of each cup. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
2.While the crust is baking, prepare the cheesecake batter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 2 packages of softened cream cheese with the peanut butter and sugar with the flat beater attachment. Mix well. Add the flour, half & half, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Finally, add the eggs and stir with a spatula until incorporated.
3.After the graham cracker crusts have been removed from the oven, lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Place a whole Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup into the muffin tin with the prepared graham cracker crusts. Then fill the cups almost to the top with the cheesecake batter. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven. To test the doneness, gently shake the pan. The center should barely jiggle when done.
4.Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecakes to slowly cool (this will help prevent the cheesecakes from cracking). Open the oven door a few inches to allow the heat to escape. Once the cheesecakes are near room temperature, place them into the refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours.
If you want to do it Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe – Joe style, here is what you have to do :
> Substitute the graham crust for a chocolate one using either chocolate wafers ( I didn’t try wafers so I don’t know how it would turn out ) or Oreos, Joe – Joes, etc. Other than adding a little more butter, once you have substituted the cookie, I used the same measurements and instructions from the original recipe.
> Omit ( this is very important ) the peanut butter in the cheesecake batter.
> Substitute ( VERY important! ) – if you have any, if not, plain would work just as well – Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe – Joes for the peanut butter cups.
> I made these in muffin cups, but since Chocolate Covered Joe – Joe’s are a bit large due to being covered in chocolate, I might recommend using small spring form pans instead.
> If you make these in muffin cups, there unfortunately isn’t much room for a crust so just put a thin layer of the crust mixture on the bottom of each muffin cup.
> Please note, that if using chocolate covered peppermint JJ’s they will poke out a little, but it should be okay since you will be putting ganache on top ( ganache covers a multitude of flaws ) .
> When filling the muffin cups with batter, I would recommend filling each cup 1/3 full, put in a Joe – Joe, then fill remaining 2/3 ( which again will be a little difficult due to the cookies poking out ).
> After the cheesecakes have cooled for a little while ( maybe 30 minutes ) add the ganache.
Here is Alton Brown’s ganache recipe.
Now, go make these – you won’t regret it!
p.s. Please pardon lack of photography, and the quality of the photographs and any other messes around here – my brother is still trying to get more well acquainted with the art of food photography and I, the art of blogging!