mini

Mini Peanut Butter and Nutella Cheesecakes

One of the perks of being a student (and right now as I’m in the middle of college applications and interviews there don’t seem to be many) is that you get a long Christmas break. This is what I’ve done since Christmas:

  1. Stayed in my PJs all day. I got new pajama pants for Christmas (a tradition in my family). They are red with pink polka dots! My middle sister got the same ones so we’ve been matching for 4 days in a row.
  2. I got dressed briefly yesterday to go to the movies with the middle sister. We saw New Year’s Eve which was cute! It’s just a fun chick flick or as Celina said a “fluffy” movie.
  3. I painted my nails with the nail polish I got in my stocking. They are super sparkly and purple.
  4. I have eaten cinnamon rolls for breakfast and dessert for the past 3 days…but this morning I had to have cereal because they were gone :(
  5. I’ve worked out. Yesterday I did Jillian’s yoga meltdown with my mom. Today I am very sore.

Today I am hoping to finish up my second to last college application (maybe both of them! how cool would that be???). I have a meeting with an alumni of University of Pennsylvania for my college interview…I should probably shower and get dressed for that…meh.

But that’s enough about boring college stuff! On Christmas Eve, tablets we had dinner at my grandparents’ house. I brought these mini cheesecakes for dessert and they were a hit! They’re really easy to make and look so pretty and fancy. I made peanut butter ones and nutella ones. The overall consensus was that the nutella ones were better, healing so if I make these again I’ll just make them all nutella. But they were both great and this would be a great dessert to bring to a New Year’s party! I can’t believe it is almost 2012…it’s insane how quickly this year has gone by.

I just have to point out the adorable little snowman cupcake wrappers! I was so excited to get a chance to use them. I love cute things like this :) I hope you have a fantastic last week of 2011…I would encourage you to stay in your pajamas all day at least one day this week. And eat cake for lunch. Not that I did that yesterday…but if I had, gynecologist it would have been good. Very good.

Peanut Butter/Nutella Mini Cheesecakes

Adapted from Snappy Gourmet.

Ingredients:

1 cup finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter or 1/2 cup nutella or to make half a batch of each, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup nutella
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

For the Ganache:
Note
: I had a ton of ganache left over. You could easily halve these ingredients.
1 (12oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the graham cracker (or cookie) crumbs and butter. Press crumbs onto the bottom of the cupcake liners.
  3. If you are making all peanut butter cheesecakes or all nutella cheesecakes: In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1/2 cup peanut butter or nutella, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs until well combined.
  4. If you are making half peanut butter and half nutella cheesecakes: In a medium mixing bowl, mix together one 8 oz. package cream cheese, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon flour, and 1/2 tsp vanilla until well combined. Beat in one egg until mixed in well. In a second mixing bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup nutella and the remaining sugar, flour, and vanilla until well combined. Beat in the remaining egg until mixed in well.
  5. Spoon cheesecake filling onto tops of crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until set on top but still soft. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  6. When they are cooled completely, place chocolate chips and cream in small microwave safe bowl in microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Spoon the chocolate on top of each cheesecake.
  7. Refrigerate cheesecakes for at least 3 hours or overnight. Store cheesecakes in refrigerator.

Note: Make sure the cream cheese is softened when you mix it in. If you’re using it straight out of the fridge, you can microwave it for 10-20 seconds to soften it.

Makes 12 Mini Cheesecakes.

Enjoy! :)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Today (well really yesterday) was not the best day ever. It was gross outside and I wasn’t feeling great and I was tired and cranky. I just got this new mini muffin tin and I really wanted to make mini cupcakes so that’s what I decided to do. Little did I know that it would be such an ordeal to create these little cuties!

I made Pioneer Woman Chocolate Cake for the cupcake part. Because one recipe makes 24 regular-sized cupcakes, clinic I halved it to make 24 mini-sized cupcakes. Well I forgot I was halving it half way through and added double the chocolate necessary. While I’m not opposed to SUPER chocolate cupcakes, infertility I didn’t wanna test it. Sooo I had to start over. Then I got to the end of the recipe and…uhh there’s no baking soda. Blah! Luckily, practitioner my dad found some in the garage. Alright, crisis averted. So I put them in the mini cupcake tin (which was rather difficult and messy but I got over it) and put them in the oven. Really these only should have taken 10 minutes to bake. But the oven shut off. 45 minutes later, they were cooked. I was a little…irritated at this point. So I decided to make rice. The rice was yummy.

Here’s my new muffin tin. The little cupcake holder thingies were too small for the tins…they worked but I would prefer to find ones that fit a little better.

Later that night, I felt more at peace with the cupcakes and made the frosting for them. And frosted them. And then had fun taking the pictures. And then I ate them. Their adorable-ness and their yummy-ness made up for all the trouble they caused me!

It’s peanut butter frosting! Yummy yummy yummy! I have a slight obsession with peanut butter…I’ve been eating way more peanut butter than nutella the past 6 months (gasp!). Although now that I’ve made this, I want to make cake with nutella frosting! Ahhh…my nutella frosting is delicious!

I’m really wanting to get in to food photography. Usually I just snap a quick picture of the food I make but since I love photography so much, I thought I might as well have fun with my food photography! It’s hard, though, because the lighting in the kitchen isn’t good and when I’m making dinner, I’m usually just focused with eating dinner and feeding my family. But when I bake, I can take some time to photograph stuff! I did that tonight. I think the pictures turned out pretty cute :)

These were SO good. You have to eat them with cold milk…it ups the yummy-ness factor by like 10. And because they’re mini, they have no calories. So you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat 9 of them… :D

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Cake– Halve this recipe if you want to make 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular size.

Peanut Butter Frosting– This recipe makes enough to frost the 24 mini cupcakes.

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