Today’s recipe is for these cute Mini Buckeye Cheesecakes which have a chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter cheese cake filling, rich chocolate ganache topping, and chopped peanuts on top. Yummy! Nothing like mini chocolate and peanut butter cheesecakes to put a smile on someone’s face! After I posted my Go Blue-tini for the first University Michgan football game last week, I got a lot of complaints from Ohio State fans. Ok not really; I’m exaggerating. But I did have a lot of people ask about food ideas for other schools and universities. Most of you are probably familiar with buckeyes (as in…the peanut butter balls covered in chocolate), so I thought I’d put a fun twist on this classic candy. I also just announced my Fall Giveaway so be sure to ENTER if you haven’t already!
If you still have no idea what ”buckeye candy” is check out this recipe for the candy. They look like the dried nuts from the Buckeye tree which happens to be the state tree of Ohio. There are LOTS of recipes for buckeye candy out on the internet so I thought I’d put a different twist on them and make them into mini cheesecakes instead of giving you the same recipe you can find all over the place. These Mini Buckeye Cheesecakes are perfect for your next football party whether you’re an Ohio State fan or not! If you’re NOT an Ohio State fan, I would not be offended if you want to change the name of these to Mini Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecakes. These cheesecakes store well in the fridge and or actually better the next day or a few days later. Since I’m a MICHIGAN fan, I think next time, I may consider dying these cheesecakes maize and blue… Just kidding!
To start off with, you need to crumble up some chocolate graham crackers or you can use regular grahame crackers or any kind of chocolate wafer type cookie. Oreo crumbs would be great too! You can crumble them by hand, in a bag, or the quickest and best way in my opinion is a food processor. Just process for a few seconds and you’ll have crumbs!
Your cracker or cookie of choice should be finely chopped into crumbs. Add your melted butter or margarine, and mix together until the crumbs are moist and start sticking together a little. You can add a little sugar to the mix if you like a “sweeter” crust but these cheesecakes were sweet enough for me.
Make your cheesecake filling by mixing together your cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, and eggs. I like to use Philadelphia cream cheese. Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature otherwise your filling will be lumpy. Or if your microwave has a “soften” feature you can give that a try if you forgot to take your cream cheese out like I always seem to do! Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the crust. I like to use an ice cream scoop for the “spooning”. The cheesecakes don’t “rise” much so don’t worry if you’re close to the top.
Bake them in the oven until they’re set but still a little soft then cool completely. Don’t worry if they “crack” on top since you’re going to cover it up. Microwave your chocolate chips and cream and mix until smooth then spoon on top of the cooled cheesecakes. This makes a rather thick layer of chocolate ganache for the top so if you want a thinner top, cut the chocolate chips and cream in half.
I sprinkled some chopped peanuts on top which is optional. If you do decide to add the chopped nuts make sure to do it while the chocolate is still warm. Refrigerate the cheesecakes for a few hours.
And a few hours later you have cute Mini Buckeye Cheesecakes! Nothing much better than chocolate and peanut butter! Yum! Although these cheesecakes will be chilled after a few hours in the fridge, they are best the next day or even a few days later. Take the paper wrappers off while the cheesecakes are still cold then let them sit for a few minutes before serving. If you turn the cheesecakes sideways, they kind of look like a buckeye nut. Ok it’s a stretch, but hope you enjoy!
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|Mini Buckeye Cheesecakes||
- 1 cup finely crushed chocolate graham crackers (or cookies)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
- 2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 (12oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup finely crushed peanuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the graham cracker (or cookie) crumbs and butter. Press crumbs onto the bottom of the cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs until well combined.
- Spoon cheesecake filling onto tops of crusts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until set on top but still soft. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Place chocolate chips and cream in small microwave safe bowl in microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Spoon the chocolate on top of each cheesecake. Sprinkle nuts on top if desired.
- Refrigerate cheesecakes for at least 3 hours or overnight. Store cheesecakes in refrigerator.