Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites

November starts off the holiday season in our home. We already have Christmas music blaring and I can’t wait to start shopping for gifts! To kick off the holiday season, I made Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites for our local Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. These delicious little nuggets are full of Christmas spirit and are small enough to not feel too guilty eating. The mix of semisweet mini chocolate chips with peppermint is the perfect blend to get you in the mood for the holidays!
The first step of baking these scrumptious treats is to make the graham cracker crust. I couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers so I added 2 tsp of cocoa powder to the original graham crackers, butter, and sugar mixture. After blending the ingredients, I pressed the crust into the mini muffin tins and baked the crust for 5 minutes just so it comes together.
Once the crust is nice and hard (don’t burn these!), then it’s time to add the cheesecake filling. I combined the crushed peppermint candies, softened cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg and sour cream in my mixer. I mixed it until it was well blended. Then I stirred in the mini chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Pay attention to how much extract you put in because you don’t want your treats tasting like toothpaste! Yuck!
After pouring the peppermint chocolate chip cheesecake batter into the already cooked graham cracker crust I baked them until they were crackly on top. In my oven, it took a little longer than 15 minutes, but I just kept checking to make sure they were still doing ok. When they were no longer jiggly, I pulled them out of the oven to cool on a wire rack. Once they were all cooled, I popped those little suckers out of the muffin tin and topped them with cool whip, chocolate sprinkles and crushed peppermint candies. They are super cute and perfect for a dessert buffet or holiday party!
8 chocolate graham cracker rectangles, crushed (1/3 package)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
6 peppermint candies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup whipping topping
6 peppermint candies, crushed
2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter in bowl. Press a heaping teaspoon of the crumb mixture in the bottom of each miniature muffin cup coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes. Process 6 candies, the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, egg and sour cream in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Pour in the prepared crusts. Bake for 15 minutes or until small cracks form on the tops. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Top each cheesecake with 1 teaspoon of the whipped topping. Sprinkle with the crushed candies and chocolate sprinkles.
Yield: 2 dozen

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