Friday, January 27, 2012

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Picture by Heidi

My picture doesn't do this justice. These little cheesecakes look so fancy and taste so delicious. I feel like a gourmet cook every time I make them, but they are very easy to make, and nonfat or lowfat, depending on which cottage cheese you use. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It calls for espresso powder, but I just add a little extra cocoa. 

Note: Because only half my family likes cheesecake, and since I end up with so many extra chocolate wafers, I always use the leftovers to make ice cream sandwiches for the non-cheesecake eaters.  I use a medium scoop to fill the wafers with softened ice cream (light ice cream works well for this), such as mint chip, and put them in the freezer.

2 cups (1 lb container) nonfat cottage cheese (lowfat or 4% is fine, too) 
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
9 to 11 (see directions) chocolate wafer cookies, such as Famous 
Whipped cream (optional), or ice cream (also optional, pictured above), for serving 
Grated chocolate (optional), for serving 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line 9 to 11 (I always have enough for one or two more than the original recipe says) standard muffin cups with cupcake liners. In a food processor or blender (I use a blender), combine cottage cheese, eggs, confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and vanilla. Blend until smooth, 4 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Divide mixture among cups and place 1 cookie on top of each. Pour water into the empty muffin cup(s), so cheesecake will bake more evenly. Bake until fillings are set and cookies soften, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature in pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours (or, covered, up to 3 days). To serve, invert cheesecakes onto plates and peel off liners. Top with whipped cream or ice cream and grated chocolate if desired.

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