Valentine's Day is just around the corner! In our home, we don't have a ton of decorations (heck, we usually just put up the ones we make from scrap paper and call it good), but MAN we sure love to bake up as many decadent little Valentine's Day sweets as possible. We don't eat all of them (even though we try, haha), but we sure love tasting them and then giving them away to dear friends and loved ones. That's what this holiday is all about, right? Celebrating love?
For us, Valentine's day doesn't have to be designated 100% to a boyfriend, fiance, or spouse - we like spreading the love through our whole family. Each year, on the 13th, we do have a dinner & date night just for my husband and I, but on the 14th? We celebrate together as a little family! It's great fun, and has become a dear tradition we look forward to each year.
These little cheesecakes? I'm almost 100% sure will be on the menu that night for dessert. Sometimes a full slice of cheesecake is overwhelming, but these little mini cheesecakes are the PERFECT little bite. I adore using my mini cheesecake pan. Believe it or not, it's less fuss, and makes the whole "cheesecake" thing less intimidating. My toddler even helped. Really, it's that easy!
Red velvet is my favorite flavor to rock around Valentine's Day. It just screams February, to me. These cheesecake's don't borrow the flavor from a cake mix - they're the real deal. Cocoa and food coloring. Who knew, right? Those flavors taste incredible with cream cheese, so throwing them into a cheesecake was a no-brainer. Originally, I wanted to have a whipped cream frosting - something a little lighter to pair with the already heavy cheesecake flavors. But, to my complete frustration, I ran out of powdered sugar, and my whipped cream wouldn't pipe (no matter how stiff my peaks were before adding in the vanilla and powdered sugar). It made me crazy, and I wanted to throw it all off the balcony.
Thankfully, I had some cream cheese left. I threw it into the mixture. Immediately, it came together, and HOLY SMOKIES, friends. It was amazing. Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting is a revelation, I tell you. It was light, but had the flavors of cream cheese. With a little sneak of almond extract, I took it straight to perfection. I ate four. In 15 minutes. So much for "a-slice-of-cheesecake-can-be-overwhelming-so-I'm-making-these-little-ones-instead." Couldn't fool myself for a second.
Red Velvet Mini Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust and Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 12 mini cheesecakes
10 original Oreos
2 T unsalted butter, melted
12oz cream cheese, softened
1 T sour cream
1/2 C sugar
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t vanilla extract
4 T red food coloring
whipped cream cheese frosting:
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract
4oz cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease your mini cheesecake pan.
2. to make crust: In a food processor, crush cookies until a small powder forms. Add melted butter and pulse a couple times to combine until a crumble forms. Using about a heaping tablespoon at a time (or bigger end of a melon baller), scoop crumbs into each cheesecake cup. Press down with something flat (I used the bottom end of a small bottle - or you could use a shot glass). Make sure sides are pressed down, and crust is even.
3. Bake for 5 minutes, remove, and set aside while you prepare the filling. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.
4. to make cheesecake: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat softened cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar together until smooth. Add cocoa powder, mixing on low until combined. Then add vanilla and red food coloring - followed by the egg. Mix until everything is barely combined. Don't overmix.
5. Fill a large piping bag with cheesecake filling, no piping tip needed. Fill each cheesecake cavity about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Turn oven off, open oven door, let cheesecakes sit in there for about 5 minutes. Then pull cheesecakes out and let cool completely before adding frosting.
6. While cheesecakes are cooling, prepare frosting: Chill your metal bowl and metal whisk attachment for 5 minutes in the freezer. Pull out, whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Then add in vanilla. Mix until uniform throughout. With your whisk on higher speed, whip in softened cream cheese. Mix until all lumps are gone and frosting is thick and creamy. Pipe a little on each cooled cheesecake.
7. White chocolate decor: just melt white chocolate, fill up a piping bag with small circle tip, and draw design on parchment paper. Freeze for 5 minutes, pull out, and add to the top of each cheesecake.
cheesecake recipe adapted from: baked by rachel
frosting recipe: baking with blondie original