Individual Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes

Personally, I don’t love portion-controlled desserts. The mini muffins, personal pies, small cookies – all of the minitiarized versions of normal desserts that are meant to prevent us from overindulging actually wind up leading to my overeating. If you give me a big slab of chocolate cake, I can satisfyingly cut it in half and eat slowly until I’m full. If you give me a full-sized muffin, I’ll likely only eat half. If you give me a regular slice of apple pie, I may even leave some crust on my plate. But if you present me with a plate of bite-sized brownies, mini muffins, or personal pie, I’m so much more likely to take multiples because one just doesn’t seem like enough, even if I know the calories are more than sufficient to satisfy me.

With that being said, everyone else I know just loves smaller, pre-portioned desserts. If I’m bringing dessert with me to a gathering, probably nine out of ten times it’s been scaled down to its cute, mini form. Sometimes it’s because there’s going to be a huge variety of desserts, and by making mine smaller, people can make their own sampler platter without feeling like, well, a pig, right? Other times, they just don’t want a full portion, even if they don’t plan to create a smorgasbord on their dessert plate. Either way, small desserts are popular, and so I often go that route.

These Oreo Cheesecakes were actually made to be personal-sized, so I didn’t need to alter the recipe preparation at all. I did use a combination of regular and 1/3 less fat cream cheese and substituted plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, but really I didn’t play around too much with the recipe. I’d be interested to see how it would turn out with a fat free/low fat cream cheese combination too, though. As it was, it was ridiculously easy and fast to make.

They also taste amazing. In fact, they taste absolutely amazing, and if you love cheesecake, and you love Oreos, then you just have to make this dessert. The Oreo cookie surprise at the bottom doesn’t stay crunchy, as you should expect with a cookie that’s been topped with moist batter and then baked for 20 minutes, but it’s not soggy either, so it winds up being okay. The cheesecake itself is the perfect balance between light and dense, not airy like whipped cream but not so thick you could hurt someone with it if you’re not careful. The Oreo crumbles are just present enough to give it the quintessential cookies and cream taste, and it’s rich but not overwhelming because of the small muffin-shaped size. Again, I think I’d still take a mountainous slab of this cake over the single serving, but I’m notoriously resistant to richness, so I’ll bet I’m in the minority and anyone you make this for will just love everything about this dessert.

Individual Oreo Cheesecakes, adapted from The Wicked Noodle
Yield: 18 servings

The Ingredients
24 Oreo cookies
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 cup plain greek yogurt

The Method
Preheat the oven to 275° Fahrenheit and place 18 cupcake liners into regular muffin tins. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each cup and crush the remaining cookies. Set both the tins and the crushed cookies aside.

Meanwhile, beat both types of cream cheese on medium speed until it smooths out, scraping down the bowl as needed. Slowly add in the sugar, continuing to beat until combined, then mix in the vanilla. Gradually drizzle in the eggs, followed by the yogurt. Fold most of the chopped cookies in by hand, reserving some for topping the cheesecakes at the end.

Divide the batter evenly amongst all of the lined cups, filling each one nearly to the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-11 minutes, rotate the pans, and then continue baking until the filling has set, approximately 10-11 minutes more. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool completely, then refrigerate at least 4 hours before removing the cheesecakes from the pan and serving.1

1When I made these, I thought you were supposed to immediately remove the cheesecakes from the pan and cool that way. This resulted in some casualties and much more hassle than I was expecting. After re-reading the instructions, I can officially say that I was completely mistaken, and you should cool the cheesecakes in the pan and only attempt to remove them once they have set up in the fridge. This will make your life much, much easier, I promise.


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