Friday, February 18, 2011

Thin Mint Cheesecake

Thin Mint Cheesecake
{printable recipe here}
Some things, you just know they're going to be delicious. My mom and I always laugh at my beloved Barefoot Contessa when she says, "Butter, chocolate, sugar, how bad can that be?" but we really tend to say the same thing. When I pulled out the cream cheese, thin mints, butter, and sugar, I knew this recipe would end well. Crush up the cookies, add a little butter, press it into the pan. Blend the softened cream cheese for a minute or two in the mixer. Pour it in and you're good to go. 

I originally adapted this recipe from Picky Palate. Jenny is so creative and never ceases to amaze me with the things she comes up with. Thin mint cheesecake is brilliant and delicious. I've lightened up the original recipe a little bit with plain yogurt instead of sour cream (I used Stonyfield) and upped the flavor with some vanilla. I also took out a little bit of the butter from the crust. To further lighten up, you can replace the cream in the ganache with "cashew cream", a blend of raw cashews (I get mine at Trader Joe's) and cold water. A few whirls in the blender and you have cashew cream that can subbed in for the regular, heavy cream in the ganache to top the cheesecake (and tastes the same!) Whether you make this cheesecake full size, in a tart pan, in a pie pan, in muffin tins- whatever- how bad can that be? You know it's going to be great!


PhotobucketThis recipe yields 24 mini muffin size mini cheesecakes or 12 muffin size cheesecakes. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 16 muffin size cheesecakes and two 4" cheesecakes using my mini springforms. The whole thing start to finish was about an hour (including baking). This is the kind of dessert that makes a huge impact for minimal effort. Besides the thin mints (or mint oreos if the girl scouts aren't around), the rest of the ingredients are "staples"- at my house anyways. Cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream/sour cream/or yogurt, and butter. Easy. Now go get some cream cheese out to soften and track down a girl scout, you're going to want this...


Thin Mint Cheesecake
Anne Strawberry's Thin Mint Mini Cheesecakes

{printable recipe here}
1 sleeve Thin Mint Cookies, ground in food processor or blender (or Mint Oreos)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
8 oz softened cream cheese (Neufchatel reduced fat works great)
1/2 Cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons Fat Free Yogurt (or Sour Cream, Buttermilk, or Heavy Cream- I like the yogurt for more tang, but if you like it sweet and smoother go with the cream)
5 Thin mint cookies coarsely crumbled

Ganache Topping

1/4 Cup Chocolate, chopped
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
6 Thin mint cookies, crumbled (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine ground cookies and butter in a medium bowl. Drop about 1 Tablespoon of cookie mixture into 24 mini cupcake tins prepared with liners. Press crust into cups with back of a spoon.

In an electric or stand mixer cream the cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add egg, yogurt, and vanilla until well combined as well. Fold in crumbled cookies. Pour cheesecake mixture into cupcake tins filled almost to the very top. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until cooked through. Carefully remove cups from tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bring cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Set aside for one minute then stir until smooth and shiny. Spoon over each cheesecake cup and sprinkle with additional crumbled cookies.


Cashew Cream Ganache
(adapted from Enlightened Cooking)
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup cold water
7 ounces good-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Place the nuts and cold water in a blender and blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Blend at least 1-2 minutes longer until the mixture is smooth (mixture will be very thick; add 1-2 additional tablespoons water, if needed, to blend until smooth).

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and cool slightly. Stir in cashew cream, vanilla and salt until well-blended. Top torte with your "healthy" ganache, and enjoy! 

4 comments:

Audra Roberts said...

I need to try this. where is a girl scout, when you need one?

♥peachkins♥ said...

Choclate Mint is one of my favorite flavors!

Tia said...

the cashew cream ganache is intriguing. Buttercreambarbie

Rachel said...

Anne--I made this but changed it a teeney tiny bit! I used these really cute heart-shaped mini spring form bands....made 'em for my love for Valentines Day. BIG HIT. :) Thank you!!!