Cheesecake has always been one of those desserts that I’ve loved from the time I was a child. I remember going to my grandma’s house, and she would often have one ready to go for dessert after we’d all eaten dinner. As I grew up, one of the first desserts that I made on my own was a cheesecake from a recipe book that I’d found. I’d make two or three variations for family cookouts, and they always went over very well.
Fast forward to several years ago; I began trying more complicated cheesecakes that called for a springform pan. I was excited about what I would be able to do, picturing a Cheesecake Factory style dessert coming out of the oven. That isn’t quite what happened during my first few attempts.
The first cheesecake ended up leaking out through the bottom of the springform pan onto the bottom of the oven. As the batter covered oven floor cooked and burned, it left a kitchen full of smoke and the smoke detectors going off as soon as the timer went off and I opened the oven door, FAIL, To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
The second attempt at using a springform pan didn’t go much better. Although all of the batter stayed in the pan, the cheesecake itself collapsed in the middle within minutes of it coming out of the oven, even though the edges were a pretty golden color. FAIL.
Things did improve, although I never got that perfect consistency that I was seeking. You know, light, creamy, fluffy cheesecake. Most of them turned out thick, dense, and heavy. The flavor was there, but it just didn’t seem quite right. Maybe I am my own worst critic.
Earlier this year, I went to a Pampered Chef party at a friend’s house, and because I love to bake, decided to buy a brownie pan that had twelve slots to make individual bars. Wouldn’t you know, one of the recipe cards I was given was for cheesecakes to be made in that very pan. It was like it was meant to be! I never found that perfect opportunity to make the recipe, though, until recently when another friend invited my hubby and myself over for dinner. I made the cheesecakes for dessert, and they went over very well. Even my friend, who isn’t huge on sweets, liked them enough to request them again.
This recipe is easy to make and has just the right sweetness. It is chocolatey, and the cheesecake itself is light and fluffy. If used in a pan with individual slots, it makes the perfect serving size to satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free.
Or, you can indulge and just have two!
Double Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Makes 12 Brownies
Recipe from: The Pampered Chef
15 fudge-striped cookies, divided
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
2 pkg cream cheese (I left the cream cheese out for 3 hours before using and didn’t microwave it)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously spray wells of brownie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place one cookie into each well, Set remaining 3 cookies aside.
Place 1/2 cup of the chocolate morsels in microwave safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 30-45 seconds or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Microwave cream cheese, uncovered, on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until softened. Add melted chocolate; whisk until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla, whisk until blended. Stir in remaining chocolate morsels.
Using a medium scoop, fill wells of pan evenly with chocolate mixture. Repeat until all the filling is used. (Wells will be very full)
Crush remaining cookies until chopped. Sprinkle cookie crumbs evenly over chocolate filling.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are firm and pull away slightly from sides of the pan. Remove pan from the oven. Cool 5 minutes. Using a serving spatula, loosen squares from sides of pan and serve.
Nutrition (1 square): 310 calories, 21g fat, 12g saturated fat, 75mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 28g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 4g protein.
**Although I have never made them this way, I would imagine that these would bake up just fine in an 8×8 baking pan by simply covering the bottom with the cookies and spreading the filling over top all of it.