I am always looking for a new excuse to bake up something chocolate, and when a friend visited recently with her boyfriend, it was the perfect opportunity! It seems that he LOVES chocolate cheesecake, and I had this great recipe for mini cheesecakes that were just begging for cocoa. (Have you ever heard cheesecake do that?!) I tinkered with the ingredients and got the thumbs-up from all of my taste testers to share this one!

These are usually baked in cupcake pans with vanilla wafers on the bottom for a tiny “crust”, but for these I used chocolate cookies and the mini cupcake pans for a perfect bite-sized indulgence. One of our testers said, “These are so rich that the small size is just enough.” (I thought they were just small enough to try two or three, but that’s just me!) Absolutely ideal addition to the bridal shower or baby shower menu! Here’s what you need:

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
chocolate cookies (1 to 2 dozen)
Berries or other fruit, jam, or pie filling for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat together first five ingredients until creamy. Place cupcake liners in pans, and put cookie “crust” into bottom of each liner. For mini cupcakes, you will need to break the cookie to fit. I used about 1/4 cookie per cheesecake. Add heaping teaspoon of cheesecake mixture to top each cookie, smooth to flatten tops, then bake 10 – 12 minutes. (If you’d rather make standard cupcake-sized cakes, use whole cookies for crusts, heaping tablespoons of batter, and bake for 15-20 minutes.)

Allow to cool before topping with your choice of fresh berry, fruit, or jam. Makes 2 dozen cakes in standard cupcake size, or 4-5 dozen mini cakes.