Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Manly Mini Cheesecakes {Whiskey + Chocolate}

Sometimes I get these ideas and these ideas tend to come to me at the last minute. They almost always come to fruition at the very last minute actually (drives Ryan nuts). Enter these little cuties. I finished cranking them out about 5 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the party. That's right we were late. But they were totally worth it. 

They're rich, creamy, and manly. Men will devour a cute little dessert like this, pinkies in the air, if you tell them there's whiskey in it. And they're the perfect size. You can enjoy the richness of cheesecake without committing to a huge slice. I'd say they're about the size of a 50 cent piece.

Our friend Marty was turning the big five zero. That's right, he's now officially over the hill. As friends arranged a huge shindig complete with lots of boozy karaoke, I asked Marty what edible delight I could bring. He told me he looOoves cheesecake. It was the perfect excuse for me to buy the mini cheesecake pan that I'd been eyeing for years.

Marty has a boozy love affair with Crown Royale, which triggered my decision to make a sampler of boozy infused mini cheesecakes. Sweet treats + alcoholic ingredients = very happy party-goers. 

The beauty of this basic cheesecake recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever you'd like to it. I made toppings out of what I had in my cabinets and fridge. My fiancé has a ridiculous sweet tooth, so there are always mini candy bars and ice cream toppings laying around.

I made one batch of peanut butter cheesecake filling. I also made a 1/2 batch of regular cheesecake filling and 1/2 batch swapping brown sugar for white sugar and adding whiskey. There were also 2 types of crust (graham cracker and Oreo). 

My mini cheesecake party tray ended up with:
6 - Plain cheesecake + graham cracker crust + white chocolate squares + caramel drizzle
6 - Whiskey infused plain cheesecake + oreo crust + whiskey dark chocolate ganache
6 - Peanut butter cheesecake + graham cracker crust + whiskey chocolate ganache + Butterfinger crumbs
6 - Peanut butter cheesecake + oreo crust + whiskey chocolate ganache + chopped Reese's cups

Here's how to make your own manly mini cheesecakes...

Start by pounding your graham crackers, Oreos, or vanilla wafers into crumbs. Then mix with sugar and melted butter.

Add a tablespoon of crumb mixture into each mini cheesecake slot and press down to form the crust. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and whiskey (if using). Pour the filling over the crust in the pan using a cookie scoop. Fill each spot to the brim and smooth the top.

Bake the mini cheesecakes for 12-14 minutes, or until cheesecakes have set and don't jiggle. They'll puff up at first when they bake, but they'll sink as they cool. After they've cooled, remove mini cheesecakes by pushing with finger from the bottom. 

The last step is to make dark chocolate ganache or any other toppings you'd like. Go crazy!

Basic Mini Cheesecake Recipe

Makes 12 mini cheesecakes

For the crust:
  • 1 cup crumbs (graham crackers, Oreos, vanilla wafers)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
  • 16 oz. (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Optional: 2 tsp. whiskey (I used Crown Royale)
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. whiskey (again, I used Crown Royale)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add graham crackers (or Oreos) to a ziplock and roll over with a rolling pin until broken into large crumbs. Add crumbs and sugar to a small bowl. Melt butter in the microwave. Stir into crumb mixture. Add about 1 Tbsp. of crumb mixture to each slot of the mini cheesecake pan and press down to form the crust. Bake for 5 minutes, then set aside to make the filling.

In a stand mixer, beat together softened cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and whiskey (if using) until smooth. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to divide the filling evenly among the baked crusts in the cheesecake pan. Fill with cheesecake filling to the top of the pan (the cheesecakes will puff up and then sink down once cooled). Smooth tops out with spatula or back of spoon.

Bake cheesecakes at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Now, make the ganache to top the mini cheesecakes. Melt chocolate chips with cream in a double boiler (double boiler = glass bowl balanced over a pot of simmering water). Once melted, stir in the whiskey. Pour over the top of mini cheescakes. Top with chopped up candy bars, if desired.

I'm sharing these manly little cheesecakes over at A Glimpse Inside, Somewhat Simple, Handy Man Crafty Woman, My Girlish Whims, 5 Days 5 Ways, One Artsy Mama.


  1. These are gorgeous! I love me a boozy anything, especially cheesecake!

  2. I love this... the presentation alone is beautiful! I have a dessert competition at work every year...I bookmarked this! :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Those look AMAZING! Thanks for linking up to my link party. :)

  4. Congratulations! You've been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! These look so yummy! Thanks for sharing and stop by the website to pick up your "I've been Featured" button!


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