This conversation really happened:
Me: Are you bringing something to that holiday party?
Me: Are you making something?
John: Potato chips.
John: Potato chips. I’m going to make them for the party.
Me: Are you going to fry them?
John: No, I was going to bake them.
Me: I….can’t let you do that. I’ll handle it.
And then I made him the following….
Domestocrat’s Individual Peanut Butter Cheesecakes with Chocolate Ganache
(Makes 24 individual cheesecakes)
For the cheesecake:
12 oz. light cream cheese
1 cup peanut butter (I used chunky unsalted)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pinch kosher salt
For the ganache:
12 oz. (one bag) chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet)
1 cup half & half
2 tbsp. butter
For the crust:
15 chocolate sandwich cookies (I like Joe’s O’s from Trader Joe’s but Oreos are good too)
4 tbsp. butter, melted
Start with the peanut butter cheesecake. Mix all of the ingredients in a deep bowl with a hand mixer. Make sure everything is incorporated and the mixture is fluffy and light. If you’re making this ahead of time, you can cover the cheesecake and put it in the fridge overnight.
Isn’t this just the best?
To make the crust pulse the cookies in your food processor until they are crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and pulse again until the mixture is moistened throughout.
Line a cupcake sheet with paper cups. I like these double layer ones (paper on the inside, foil on the outside).
Spoon about a tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each cup. Press down with the spoon or your fingers until the crust is a compact, thin layer on the bottom. Bake on 350 degrees for 7 minutes to allow the crust to set.
When the crust layer is baked and set, let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Next, spoon the peanut butter cheesecake mixture into each cup. I used a little less than a tablespoon per cup. Press the mixture down into the crust lightly with the back of your spoon.
Bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is golden brown.
I made my ganache the night before just the same as the cheesecake. You could do it day-of but make sure it has time to set in the fridge.
To begin to make the ganache, melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler.
When the chips are all melted, pour the half and half and butter mixture over them (you should heat these two ingredients together in the microwave for about a minute just before pouring in).
Stir/whisk thoroughly. Let the ganache cool on the counter (about an hour or so), whisking every 10 minutes to make sure the consistency is smooth. Put in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to make sure the ganache sets.
When you’re ready, prepare a piping bag for your ganache. I usually use my pastry tips and a ziploc bag. You can always just use a ziploc bag with a hole cut in one end.
Pipe a swirl or dollop on each mini cheesecake. Put them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them.
Or, just eat right away!
These mini cheesecakes are creamy, peanut buttery, and super chocolatey. Very decadent and a very special treat. Enjoy!