Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

Mini chocolate chip cheesecakes with a thick Oreo cookie crust and topped with homemade salted caramel sauce.

mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes

Today’s post is very special, so I hope you listen up. There are two parts:

  1. Hunger.
  2. The recipe.

With thanksgiving around the corner, let’s start with hunger.

mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes on a wood board

 1. Hunger.

Today a few bloggers and I got together and brought a Thanksgiving dish/dessert to the table. A Thanksgiving potluck. Our purpose? Feeding America. Raising awareness of the hunger epidemic sweeping our country (and well, our world). 15.9 million children live in homes where they cannot consistently access enough nutrition to sustain a healthy life. In a country where girls literally starve themselves to fit cultural standards, there are millions of adults and children who actually ARE starving and don’t have enough food to survive.

During a time of the year when we are all focused on food and family, it’s important to take a step back and think about others who may not be as lucky as we are. Find volunteer opportunities in your area. Virtually volunteer by spreading the word. Donate food, get involved, and help the 1 in 6 Americans who aren’t able to eat.

Because of my job, I have  plethora of food laying around. I certainly can’t eat it all, nor do I have a bakery in which to sell the food. I can, however, donate extras to our church. Our church then brings it to Our Daily Bread, a Baltimore based food kitchen.

mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes on a white plate

hand holding a mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecake with a bite taken from it

2. The Recipe.

My recipe to contribute to our combined effort to raise hunger awareness is cheesecake. But this ain’t your regular cheesecake. Nope, not at all. There’s homemade salted caramel + cheesecake + Oreo cookie crust + chocolate chips. They are mini, they’re cute, they’re decadent, and they’re simply divine.

The mini cheesecakes begin with a solid cheesecake base. You’ll need room temperature cream cheese, sugar, a dash of yogurt (or sour cream), 2 eggs, and vanilla. Just beat all of those basic ingredients together until smooth and add some mini chocolate chips. Regular sized chocolate chips would be fine as well.

The cheesecakes sit atop a simple Oreo cookie crust. The same crust I always use: crushed whole Oreos and melted butter. Press the mixture into 16-18 cupcake liners. Like so:

Oreo cookie crusts in cupcake liners in a cupcake pan

Top the crusts with the cheesecake batter and bake. Allow the cheesecakes to chill in the refrigerator to “set.” There! You just made mini cheesecakes. It’s pretty simple, right?

Here’s the fun part: homemade salted caramel. Salted caramel is like liquid candy. Sweet, sticky, salted, sugary candy. Having a standard salted caramel recipe under your belt is priceless. With my salted caramel recipe, you’ll be an expert in no time, I promise. (And you’ll want to pour the caramel on top of everything you eat, I promise.)

spooning salted caramel onto mini chocolate chip cheesecakes

Salted caramel in a glass jar with a spoon

Drizzle the salted caramel on top of each cheesecake. Some of your cheesecakes may slightly sink down. There are a variety of reasons why the centers may sink. Over-mixing the eggs, not using a water bath, etc. That’s ok with these cheesecakes. You want a slight sink in the center so you have a place for the salted caramel. When it comes to full-sized cheesecakes, you want to be a little more aware of sinkage-prevention.

stack of 2 mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes

Enjoy your new favorite way to eat cheesecake!

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stack of 2 mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16-18 mini cheesecakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Mini chocolate chip cheesecakes with a thick Oreo cookie crust and topped with homemade salted caramel sauce.


Ingredients

Oreo Cookie Crust

  • 18 whole Oreos (Double Stuf or regular)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or regular size)
  • homemade salted caramel

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two 12-count cupcake pans with 18 liners.
  2. For the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse the whole Oreos into a fine crumb. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl. Press 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture into the bottom of each liner, see picture above for a visual. You should have enough for 16-18 cups. Bake in batches for 5 minutes and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. For the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the sugar and yogurt and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into the crusts until nearly full. Bake each pan for 20-23 minutes. The centers will still be slightly jiggly, that’s OK. The centers may also have risen up quite a bit, but they will deflate as the cheesecakes cool. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature, at least 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least two hours.
  5. Before serving, top each cheesecake with salted caramel and additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Cover leftover cheesecakes tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: After the cheesecakes have cooled to room temperature, you can freeze them. I recommend freezing without caramel. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and top with salted caramel before serving.
  2. Yogurt: Sour cream OR nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.

Keywords: salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes, mini caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes

4 images of mini salted caramel chocolate chip cheesecakes