These Mini Cheesecakes with Chocolate Wafer Crust are sure to put a smile on your face.
With everything that's been going on over the past few months, I needed something of a pick-me-up to brighten an otherwise dismal day. I'm not normally one to advocate eating your feelings, but when I think pick-me-up I automatically start thinking of cheesecake. Seriously, can you think of anything that cheesecake won't make better, if only for a few delicious seconds?
Me either. So I thought, why not combine two of my favorite feel-good treats: cheesecake and Loacker wafers to whip up these mini cheesecakes. The wafers make an extraordinary crust and thanks to willpower I've managed to cut some calories by using Neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese.
You can find Loacker wafers in most stores like Target and Walmart, and trust me when I say there's no substitute. Loacker wafers have the perfect texture and flavor for this recipe and so many others.
The range of flavors makes it even tastier to create new recipes. I decided to use the Gran Pasticceria Dark Hazelnut wafers because, yum! They're covered in chocolate which makes them an even better option for the mini cheesecake crust.
These mini cheesecakes were exactly what I needed to get past the lingering negative vibes and embrace the positive. They were pretty simple to make and the flavor is out of this world. But, then again, it's mini cheesecake :). You really can't go wrong.
How to make these delicious mini cheesecakes
Preheat your oven to 325°F and prepare your cupcake tin (I prefer liners, but you could just use cooking spray if you prefer).
Fill a ziplock bag with Loacker wafers (I used 2 sleeves of Dark Hazelnut) and let the air out. Seal it and crush the wafers until they're fine. You can also do this in a food processor to make it even easier. If you're using multiple wafer varieties you'll want to do this step in batches.
Transfer the wafer crumbs to a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Mix it all together until the wafer crumbs are moistened. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture and press into the prepared muffin tin. Make sure the layer is even and firmly packed.
Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, and set it aside to cool while you make the mini cheesecake filling.
Get a large mixing bowl and put the Neufchatel cheese (2 8oz packages) in and blend* until it's smooth. *Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whichever you have on hand. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and ½ cup of sugar and mix until creamy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, just until incorporated.
Scoop the mixture into the wafer crusts and bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until the centers are almost set. Allow the mini cheesecakes to cool in the pan for 15 - 20 minutes then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Once they have completely cooled and set you can add anything you like. I like a dollop of whipped cream, or a swirl :), with sprinkles or pieces of Loacker Wafers!