Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cookies n' Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

These cupcakes were delicious. I saw something like this on Martha Stewarts website and it just looked too good not to make. I made a few changes to Martha's original recipe. For the crust, she simply puts a whole Oreo in the bottom of each cup in the muffin pan. While this method is quick and creates a beautiful presentation, I didn't think it was practical for eating. When just eating Oreos no one bites into the whole thing, you twist it apart and dunk it in a big glass of milk, biting into the thing whole would just create a crumby mess. To solve this problem, I just made an Oreo crumb crust using cookies and a few tablespoons of butter which held together perfectly when bitten into. I followed her cheesecake filling exactly and it was everything I expect from Martha, delicious. Crushed Oreo chunks are suspended in the thick cheesecake creating a crunchy contrast to the creamy smooth filling. Unfortunately, Martha's cupcakes were frosting-less, which is just crazy, every cake needs frosting. I made a simple whip cream frosting with a couple handfuls of very finely crushed Oreo crumbs folded in. the light whip cream balanced the heaviness of the cheesecake and made them look beautiful. Be sure to finely crush the crumbs for the frosting otherwise your pastry bag will get clogged and drive you crazy.

finely crushed

Cookies n' Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes

for the crust
half a box of oreos
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

for the cheesecake
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt
half a box of Oreos, crushed in the food processor

for the frosting
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla exract
1/2 to 2/3 a cup very finely crushed Oreos

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners
3. For the crust, combine Oreos and melted butter in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add more butter if necessary, it should hold together when pressed but should not feel greasy.
4. Using a shot glass, press heaping tablespoons of the buttery crumbs into the lined muffin tins.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees.
6. For the cheese cake, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually stream in the sugar and continue to beat until combined. Beat in the vanilla.
7. Add the eggs in slowly, beating to combine and scraping the sides of the bowl with each addition. Beat in the sour cream and salt until combined. Fold in the Oreos by hand as you would chocolate chips in cookie dough.
8. Cheesecake doesn't rise so you can fill the cups almost to the top. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. They should be slightly springy like Jello when you check for doneness.
9. Leave them in the muffin tins to cool. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least for 4 hours.
10. To make the frosting, beat the whip cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, don't give up its only about 3-4 minutes but you'll get a shoulder workout. Gently, fold in the cookie crumbs by hand.

These are the cupcakes as soon as I took them out.
They poof up a little but fall flat when cooled.

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