Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesI’ve had mini grasshopper cheesecakes on my mind since I made Oreo cupcakes with an Oreo baked into the center.  I knew I wanted to do something similar with Thin Mints/ Grasshopper cookies but wasn’t sure exactly what.  Then I remembered how much I love cheesecake…the rest was history. Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesAs soon as I started thinking about cheesecake, I remembered a recipe I used years, and I mean YEARS ago, from my parents’ magic bullet manual.  It was surprisingly amazing and I wanted to try it again.  I found the very simple cheesecake recipe on the bullet website, and even though I actually have a magic bullet, I used a mixer and bowl to prepare it.  I added mini chocolate chips, mint extract, and green food coloring to the cheesecake batter.  I finished these beauties off with a generous dollop of chocolate ganache and Andes candies for garnish.  It was absolutely perfect!Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesMint and chocolate go so well together!  It is definitely one of my favorite flavor combination, right up there with salt and caramel.  I absolutely love mint chocolate chip ice cream, Thin Mints, peppermint bark, and I order nothing but peppermint white mochas as soon as they’re available at Starbucks in fall!Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesThese cheesecakes had a great mint flavor and soft texture.  After I took them out of the oven, the center seemed a little darker in color and I was nervous they hadn’t baked completely.  As they cooled, they looked better and once the ganache was on, I tried one and they tasted heavenly!  Yes, I was successful in waiting until the end to dig in for once!  I used paper cupcake liners that are just a tad bit smaller than normal, and the cookie was the perfect size for a crust!Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 30 mini cheesecakes

1 mini cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • 30 grasshopper cookies
  • Andes candies for garnish
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cream/milk/half and half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and place a grasshopper cookie at the bottom of each.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Add peppermint extract and food coloring and mix until evenly distributed. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Fill paper liners 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake is set in the center. The edges may brown slightly. Let them cool to room temperature.
  4. For the Chocolate Ganache
  5. Microwave cream and chocolate chips in microwave safe container at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in intervals of 15-30 until almost completely melted, then continue to stir until smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, until it is just about room temperature.
  6. Pour ganache over cooled cheesecakes and let set. Garnish with Andes candies just before the ganache is almost sett. If the ganache is not firm enough, the candies may fall over or move.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/05/01/mini-grasshopper-cheesecakes/


Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun BarkHolidays are a great excuse to eat chocolate…not that anyone really needs an excuse to eat chocolate.  I saw this lucky leprechaun bark and knew I had to make some for St Paddy’s Day.  I actually don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day at all, but I thought it would be cute, not to mention super tasty!Leprechaun Bark

I love mint and chocolate together, so I used Andes baking chips (+ a little dark chocolate) for the bottom layer.  I added a handful of white candy melts to just less than a full bag of green candy melts to lighten up the color for the top layer of my leprechaun bark.  You can use a microwave, double boiler, or whatever method you choose to melt the chocolate and candy melts.  I microwaved them at 60% power for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirred well, and continued microwaving/stirring at 15-25 second intervals until they were completely melted.  You could add mint flavoring to the candy melts if you’d like, but I thought there was a perfect amount of mint flavor from the Andes chips.
Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz bag Andes baking chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vegeatble oil
  • 2 cups green candy melts
  • 1/2 cup white candy melts
  • green m&ms, sprinkles, or anything you'd like to decorate with

Instructions

  1. Melt the Andes chips and chocolate chips together with 1 tsp vegetable oil using the method of your choice. Let it cool for a few minutes, until it is just about room temperature.
  2. Spread over layer of wax paper as thick or thin as you'd like and let sit until completely hardened. You may place it in the refrigerator to speed up this process.
  3. Melt the green and white candy melts according to package directions. Again, let it cool for a couple minutes before spreading.
  4. Spread over the hardened chocolate. Use a spatula to spread/smooth it out.
  5. Sprinkle m&ms and sprinkles over the top and let it harden.
  6. Break or cut into bite-sized pieces.

Notes

If the bottom layer is cool (ie has been refrigerated), the top layer will set fast when you add it, so work quickly to get all your decorations on (or let it come to room temperature before spreading).

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/18/leprechaun-bark/

Leprechaun Bark