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In the past, I may have discriminated against individual-sized desserts, writing them off as fussier and more tedious than their life-sized counterparts. While this is sometimes true, where these cheesecakes are concerned I was wrong. I apologize, cheesecakes, I misjudged you.
I was delighted to discover that these precious hand-held morsels are actually much, much easier than a full-sized cheesecake. No springform pan, no pre baked crust, no water bath, no long baking time, no long chilling time, no slicing and serving… if you have a hankering for cheesecake and want to eat it within, say, the next 8 hours, make these.
I adore the combination of graham crackers and peanut butter. And, as I mentioned before when I made my Coconut Cheesecake, I have a thing for graham cracker crust. The ratio of crust to cheesecake in these is just ideal for me. Creamy, crunchy, salty-sweet, peanut buttery joy.
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-count muffin tin with 12 cupcake cups.
In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt until well combined. Using a tablespoon, scoop a heaping tablespoon into the bottom of each cup. Use the rounded back of the tablespoon to press crust down into cup and slightly up the sides. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth, being sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Add vanilla and peanut butter. Beat again until smooth. While mixer is going, sprinkle in the flour, then add the eggs one at a time until creamy and fully incorporated.
Scoop the peanut butter mixture into a piping bag or gallon-sized plastic zip bag with the tip cut off. Squeeze the mixture into cups, using a circular motion until almost full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until centers are set. Allow to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve later.
Made these using Sunbutter instead of peanut butter. Ended up with a lot of filling left in my ziploc bag, so I piped it into a disposable pie plate and cooked it too. Family enjoyed the subtle nuttiness of the filling and of course enjoyed the crust even though it was a bit crumbly and messy. Thinking of changing up the filling to match the season (i.e. pumpkin instead of nut butter in the Fall with cinnamon and nutmeg in the crust or filling etc... or lemon in the Summer etc... I would make these again but with some time in between batches. Pretty good...
These are cute. :)
Will it work if I substitute cocoa powder for flour? I'm asking because I saw a recipe for a flourless chocolate mug cake, where the only dry ingredient is cocoa powder. I'm curious if you think the cocoa powder substitution will work here, as well?
I'm new at baking, and I haven't bought any flour yet. I would like to try some flourless recipes before lugging in a big bag of flour.
I'd like to think this would work fine, but I'm not positive. If you give it a try, be sure to let me know how it turns out for you! I apologize for the delay in responding... we went camping over the long weekend. :)
One of my readers says you can substitute digestive biscuits for graham crackers successfully, but that you might need to add a bit more sugar because graham crackers are slightly sweeter. Hope this helps! There are also a lot of homemade graham cracker recipes out there, if you're interested in trying to make them from scratch. Best wishes over there in the UK! :)
I think you could omit the flour altogether and still have delicious cheesecakes... the flour just helps them firm up and keep their shape when you unwrap them. I suspect a good chill in the fridge would help them hold together without the flour, but the consistency will be softer (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).
I have never tried using cocoa as a flour substitute, but I have read that it can work. Of course, then you'd have chocolate peanut butter cheesecakes! You would probably need to add a bit more sugar to balance out the addition of the cocoa. You could certainly try it. Another option would be cornstarch (1T), if you have some on hand.
Good luck with your baking! Let me know how it turns out for you. :)
@Elisa I know a long time has gone by, but. . . I just made these without peanut butter. I used an extra T flour (1/4 C total -- as in the recipe this was adapted from) rather than extra cream cheese. They set up well, but the flour does add cake-like texture . . .
Welcome! I’m Maya – a food blogger and food columnist based on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. ~ Read More