Experiment: Mini Cheesecakes

Recently I had a cookie fail … a type of spritz cookies (ETA: they’re actually called meat grinder cookies) from a Hungarian recipe. I used an old cookie press that I inherited from my mom, but the dough was so stiff that I almost broke my thumbs trying to push it through the decorative nozzles. I finally gave up after forcing out about a dozen of each kind of cookie and threw away the rest of the dough. (I had added red gel food colour and cocoa powder to equal portions of the dough.) Even worse, the finished cookies were dry and tasteless.

In an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, I decided to grind up the cookies and use the ground crumbs as a base for individual cheesecakes.

I had about 1/2 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs to which I added 3 tbsp sugar and 3 tbsp of melted butter. After distributing the crumbs (3 tbsp each) among four 4 inch diameter disposable aluminum pot pie tins, I tamped the crumbs down with the base of a glass and baked the crusts for 8 minutes at 350 deg F, filled the cooled crusts with the cheesecake mixture made from one 8 oz package of cream cheese (I used the cheesecake recipe on the Philadelphia cream cheese box) and baked the cheesecakes until set (~20 min at 350 deg F). The chocolate half of the cheesecake based had 1 tbsp of sifted cocoa powder stirred into the mixture and I found the resulting mini cheesecakes somewhat dry compared to the vanilla cheesecakes. I decided to be economical and only fill the tins half way up, assuming that the cheesecake batter would souffle up during baking but it remained decidedly flat.

On the positive side, the cheesecakes were more palatable than the cookies. Though they won’t replace the mini cheesecakes I make with ‘Nilla wafers bases.


15 thoughts on “Experiment: Mini Cheesecakes

  1. How clever! I must remember your wonderful idea next time I fail a cake or something similar (and it does happen of course). The mini cheesecakes look lovely. I always prefer tiny individual sweets anyway, though it sometimes means more work…

    1. I hate waste and the experiment didn’t use up too many other ingredients. I should probably only have made 2 cheesecakes out of the batter not 4, however, but the taste was good even if the texture was disappointing.

  2. What a great way to make use of a failed cookie, I will keep that in mind when I have that experience. Sadly, I got rid of my cookie press years ago when we did the reno, I only bought it because of my Mom; we did Christmas baking together during the last year before she had to go into a home, at that time she was barely able to control her small motor skills and I thought the press would make it easier for her. The cheesecakes look delicious, love that you used the cookies as the base.

    1. Don’t feel bad. The cookies (they’re actually called ‘meat grinder’ cookies) were an experiment that, sadly, didn’t turn out as hoped for. Maybe I can use the 2/3 cups of crumbs from the pink ones for those cookies. I don’t think they’re going to go bad. 🙂

      1. They’ve been out on the counter for a couple of weeks … I don’t know it there’s a point in freezing them now. They’re going to stay pink. 🙂

      1. That’s home cooking in a nutshell. Do what you gotta do, and who knows? You may have a keeper. I applaud you for making the adjustment, even if it didn’t end up quite to your standards 🙂

      2. Sometimes the leftovers/re-purposed stuff is better than the original dish. Like rice balls (arancini) made from risotto. Or butter chicken made with leftover tandoori chicken. It was my way of using up inexpensive chicken thighs. And I threw away the skins. Now I made crispy chicken skin cracklings (aka gribenes or chicharonnes) with the skin. Pssst … there are 9 of the little treasures cleaned and prepped in the freezer just waiting to be transformed into decadent treats.


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