Monday, April 11, 2011

In miniature


It has become increasingly obvious that I like food in miniature. (This fascination stops with food…I was steadfast in my refusal to go to Miniature World when visiting Victoria…I don’t understand it and I never will.) When I look back at my posts, “mini” quite often makes an appearance. Mini is fun. Mini is cute. Mini means you can eat more. Five mini desserts don’t have nearly the caloric value of one regular dessert, right? (Just nod your head and we’ll keep pretending that’s true.)

More calories or not, I find that I can pack away much more food in miniature. It’s so easy to pop bite-size morsels into your mouth. When going out to eat I would much rather order many appetizer courses to share than one main dish. I like being able to try lots of different things that don’t necessarily have to “go-together.” This explains my love of cocktail parties, tapas, and miniature long-haired dachshunds. (Okay…maybe it doesn’t explain the dachshund thing.)


A few weeks ago via Twitter, Pepperidge Farm announced that it was “I Am In Control Day," and asked which of their products made you lose control. I replied that for me, an entire package of Milano cookies could disappear in a very short time. Much to my surprise, I was contacted about their new Milano Melts cookie. Yes, of course I would like to try them!!! And as I seem to be doing with all the products I’ve been receiving lately, I decided to grind them up in the food processor and turn them into something miniature. Now don’t get me wrong, these cookies are good on their own…I just like to come up with different uses for things. Which brings me to my Milano Melts inspired dessert…


Chocolaty Cookie Crumb Mini Cheesecakes

Makes 2 mini cheesecakes

Crust:
5 Milano Melts cookies (dark classic crème)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Filling:
3 Milano Melts cookies (dark classic crème), divided use
6 ounces cream cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar

For the crust, put the cookies in a mini food processor and grind into a fine crumb. Transfer into a small bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter. Combine until all cookie crumbs are coated in butter. Press half the mixture into each tart pan, pressing the crust slightly up the sides. Bake on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. (To make ahead, let cool completely and seal in an airtight bag. I made the crusts the day before I filled them.)


For the filling, grind cookies in a mini food processor, then remove about 2 tablespoons of the cookie crumbs. Reserve for topping.

To the remaining cookie crumbs, add the cream cheese, egg and sugar. Process until well blended. Pour the filling into the tart shells and sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 24-26 minutes until middle is set. Remove from oven and let cool on rack before transferring to refrigerator. Let chill for at least 6 hours before serving. (More is fine.)


I really feel that I am my harshest critic, but I have to tell you, these were pretty damn good! I think I get more excited about my desserts that come out well because I absolutely DO NOT understand the science of baking, so when I stumble upon something that works, I am thrilled.


Now, I know these are cheater cheesecakes and don’t employ all the standard cheesecake techniques, but hey, they taste great and are super cute! Each bite has a chocolaty cookie goodness, and only a slight cream cheese flavor, making them not nearly as rich as standard cheesecake because of their lighter texture. They are creamy and dreamy and I could eat an entire mini cheesecake in one sitting without regretting it one bit. In fact, I may have done just that.


(Thanks to Pepperidge Farm for sending me these Milano Melts to try out. Although these cookies were complimentary, all opinions are my own.)

28 comments:

  1. I did not go visit miniature world either while in Vitoria. I love visiting kitchen stores and it seems they now sell most baking pans in mini. I agree mini has less calories; so that is my reson for wanting them.... I still haven't been brave enough to buy, but after seeing your master piece Karen, I will very soon.
    Rita

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  2. Those are so great! I love anything miniature...they are always so cute!

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  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! I want to eat my computer monitor! Those look great. Good job!

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  4. Mini is definitely fun! These look amazinggggg. Yummmm

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  5. Mini is so much fun when it comes to sweets! I love things best that way. Yummy use of the milanos!

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  6. I love mini too! I wish every meal could be tapas style! You lucky girl that they sent you some of their cookies and look what you up and did with them! These chesse cakes are adorable and my style of baking! Great work!!!!

    I'll have to pick some of these up next time I go to the store!

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  7. This looks adorable and delicious! I love mini foods too. I like to pretend that they are calorie-free. :)

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  8. I am on the same page! If it's mini you can obviously eat 5-10...right? Haha. If only it were true...
    I'm going to have to try the new milano melts, I love the regular ones too.

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  9. Who can resist the mini sizes....it just makes food more fun. These look delicious!

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  10. I've never had milano melts but they look good and especially delicious in this cheesecake!

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  11. I haven't tried those new Milano cookies yet, but have been wanting to. This looks incredible!! Love mini desserts!

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  12. What a great idea! Milanos are amazing. Definitely need to try this!

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  13. I love Mini desserts and probably get way more excited than I should be when they are served somewhere ;o) Those milano melts look great and your cheesecakes look even better. Great recipe!

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  14. A creative way to use the Milano melts. There is nothing better than cheesecake and chocolate. Lovely presentation!

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  15. This looks awesome! I love milano cookies too so this is a dish for me!

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  16. I'm also a "mini" freak when it comes to my desserts... I feel like I can eat ten mini cupcakes and that is not as bad as eating one big piece of cake. ;-)

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  17. I'm a sucker for milanos too and would definitely lose control around this milano stuffed cheesecake!

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  18. I bought a package of those cookies recently, but ate them up so quickly that I didn't even think of using them in a recipe. Great job...these look delicious!!

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  19. I love Milano Cookies, and you did fantastic job on this dessert..I love the way you made it and your photos making it even more tasty!!!

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  20. This recipe looks lush never tried Milano cookies, are they available in U.K? nice pic's as well good post.

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  21. I love both miniature food and Milanos. :) That little cheesecake looks yummy!

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  22. Those Milano melts look reeeally good--have got to keep my eyes out for those babies. I love mini foods too--there is just something about them! Very nice and creative recipe.

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  23. You are totally right about mini desserts, you CAN eat more! :) Perfect use for those cookies, the cakes look delicious!

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  24. I agree with Rita, these DO look like a masterpiece! You are a regular paula deen! She has a cooking contest going on now. These would make a perfect addition to the dessert category!

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  25. i appreciate the way you bothered to cut up the cookies and whip out something fantastic like this...oh yea i'm stingy with compliments too but i say fantastic!!!! :P

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  26. I wish I had smell-o-vision on my computer. This looks divine.

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