What is your favorite thing to top with caramel? I’m just curious, because I’m pretty sure it can run the gamut from ice cream, to cake, to brownies, to fruit – I dunno, but it seems that the possibilities are endless. And that’s what caramel so, totally, like, awesome. Yeah, it deserves the full Valley Girl treatment here folks. Like, totally. Okay, I’ll stop now. All that VG talk is making me sick. But you get my point – caramel does crazy things to a person (clearly), and you can top it on just about everything to make it an existential experience. And because of this divine creations from the roasted sugar gods – we’re paying homage to their nectar, caramel with a week’s worth of festivities. And by festivities I mean food. Lots and lots of caramel laden food. *insert Homer Simpson drool here*
Sweets? We got ’em. Savories? You bet ‘cha!
Me and cheesecake are finally turning over a new leaf together. It’s only taken 4 long cheesecake-less years. I had long given up on making cheesecake part of my baking repitoire – after a disasterous Thanksgiving pumpkin cheese cake that leaked the water bath into the cheesecake. It was perfectly done on top, but once unhitched from it’s spring form supports it liquified water-cheese underneath and tidal waves all over my counter. I cried, dropped some on the floor, Huck licked it up, and had a glass (*cough* half bottle of wine) and I swore it was the end of me and my cheesecake dreams. But no more!
Finally I had success in the cheesecake realm with these two bite mini cheesecakes. A few weeks ago when the friends and I all caravanned up to the mountains of Washington, a stop at the local chocolate shop yielded the most heaven of caramel confections with a cinnamon pear caramel sauce that was knee weakening. You couldn’t pass up a jar of this either, so we brought it home and its been savored ever since. And by savored I mean eat ravenously with a spoon. By some miracle some of it managed to be used as cheesecake topping here. It was a very close call.
The pear and caramel was a dream come to life, and after sourcing myself a mini-cheesecake pan (which was hard enough in and of it self because – Huck tantrums and all) I had to give it another go. Eventually my luck in the cheesecake category HAD to turn around. Ohhhh hawt dayyuumm did it ever turn around.
I’d love to say that since these are mini they make you feel less guilty about downing a whole slice of cheesecake, but who are we all kidding – a one two-bite cheesecake will not be enough of this cheesecake to satisfy you. I ate three. Then another two. All in the name of Science.
I’ll justify it any way I can, really. And you really should too. I mean it.
Be bad (insert your name here), I won’t tell.
Celebrate the rest of Caramel Week with all the full line up here!
Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic – Crockpot Dulce de Leche
Beka @ Kvetchin’ Kitchen – Caramel Apple Pie
Mads @ La Petite Pancake – Caramel Banana Bread Pudding
Allison @ Decadent Philistines Saves the World – Salted Caramel Pork Loin w/ Shaved Brussel Sprouts & Apple Salad
Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama – Chewy Milk Dud Brownies
Jeanne @ Inside NanaBread’s Head – Chocolate Alfajories with Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel
Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks – Almost Famous Fairground Caramel Sauce
Yours Truly – Dulce de Leche Milkshakes with Caramel Drizzle
Kat @ Tenaciously Yours – Popcorn Crunch Sundae
Christina @ Buffy and George – Butterscotch Pudding
Megan @ Country Cleaver – ME!
Madeline @ Munching in the Mitten – Caramel Cake
Kirsten @ Comfortably Domestic – DIY Dulce de Leche Coffee Creamer
Katie @ The Hill Country Cook – Salted Caramel Pie
Mini Pear Cheesecakes with Caramel Drizzle
1 package (8 oz) Cream cheese, softened
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ cup Sugar
½ cup Pear, pureed
1 cup Crushed Nilla Wafers or Graham Crackers
3-4 Tbsp Butter, melted
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down sides and beat in egg. Mix in vanilla, sugar, cinnamon and pear. Set aside.
In small bowl, mix together crackers or wafers, butter and brown sugar. Divide evenly and press into the bottom of a mini-cheesecake tin. Press the cookie mix into the bottom of each cheesecake mold and about ⅓ of the way up the sides. Fill each cup with cheesecake batter. Bake for about 14-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Gently remove cheesecakes from the cheesecake tin.
Place in fridge to finish chilling and then serve with caramel sauce drizzled over the top.