Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

Time flies when you're neglecting your blog. I really can't believe it is the last week of January already, and a month after Christmas. I feel like this whole month has been a blur. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that the kids and I were sick for a while and we're still just barely getting back into the swing of things after the long winter break. Plus, we're trying our best to eat healthier in the new year, which means that sweets and treats will be made fewer and farther between.
But that won't stop me completely! We celebrated my father-in-law's birthday this past week. I know that my in-laws love Oreo cookies, so I thought I would use that as an excuse to finally dig into my Martha Stewart Cupcakes cookbook. I'd been eyeing this recipe for a while, and it was time to bust it out.
Well, I sure am glad I did! The method for these little cuties, titled Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes, is simple enough. To assemble the cupcake-sized cheesecakes, you simply drop an Oreo cookie into each cupcake paper liner, and that becomes your crust. Then you mix together just a few ingredients, and voila! Just 22 minutes in the oven, and you get a perfect little cheesecake that tastes like a cross between cheesecake and cookies and cream ice cream. Plus, when you flip the cupcake over, you can see the Oreo cookie peeking through the wrapper. Heavenly, and adorable!
The pictures hardly do these justice, but take my word for it: they're awesome. I've posted the recipe below because I couldn't find it anywhere on Martha Stewart's website. I highly recommend making these. The recipe can be easily cut in half; that's what I did.

Cookes and Cream Cheesecakes
makes 30 cupcakes

42 Oreo cookies (30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped)
2 pounds (4 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.
3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

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