After you and that special someone polish off your Heart-Shaped Pizzas, these red little cheesecakes are perfect for a Valentine's Day dessert. Or, if you're obsessed with cheesecakes of all kinds like I am, you can prepare them for any special night. I've loved cream cheese for as long as I can remember and have fond memories of my grandmother, Oma, letting me eat it straight out of the package with my fingers. If only I could still get away with that! Thankfully, these come in easily-controlled portions.
If you have someone special with whom to share these Mini Cheesecakes, you can romantically feed each other a couple and freeze the rest. If you're single this Valentine's Day, you should still make these, treat yo self to a couple, and freeze the rest. You can thaw them out again when you need a pick me up (single), or when you need a peace offering (in a relationship).
To make the Oreo crust, I put about 12 Oreos (including the cream filling) into a food processor and turned them into crumbs. I melted ¼ cup of butter in a bowl and then added the Oreos to the butter, blending them together with a fork.
Line the muffin pan with foil cupcake liners and distribute the crumbs into the cups. Press down with the back of the spoon to set the crust.
With a hand mixer, blend together two softened 8 ounce cream cheese packets, plus 4 ounces of sour cream.
Add in ¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa and 1 cup granulated sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and food color. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
*I need to pause here to talk about food coloring. Brian and I spent about 10 minutes combing over the baking aisle in Kroger looking for liquid food coloring tubes that my mom used to bake with when I was a child. All we found was gel food coloring and were confused as to what that even is. Google assured me that it was okay to use. One tube of the gel coloring amounted to a little less than one tablespoon, while the recipe called for two. I think that I ended up getting a pretty decent "red" color out of it anyway, but you may want to buy two packets of food coloring if you truly want that deep red color.
Next, distribute the batter evenly to the cups so that they are almost filled to the top.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the centers are firm. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes, during which time the cheesecake centers will sink. Don't be upset like I was - they're going to be covered with whipped cream anyway. Refrigerate in baking cups at least one hour; cover and refrigerate at least one hour longer before serving.
The perfect treat for cheesecake-loving lovers!
Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes
- 1¼ cup Oreo cookie crumbs
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 packages (8 oz each), softened
- 4 oz sour cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons red food color
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Break Oreo cookies into food processor and blend. Once crumbled, in small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Divide crumb mixture among cups. With back of spoon, firmly press cookie crumbs in bottom of each foil cup.
2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 1 cup granulated sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and food color. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Divide batter evenly among baking cups (cups will be almost full).
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are firm. Cool 15 minutes (cheesecake centers will sink while cooling). Refrigerate in baking cups at least 1 hour; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour longer before serving.
4. For the whipped topping (optional): In chilled small bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Spoon whipped cream on chilled cheesecakes.