Santa wants cheesecake instead of cookies this year

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I recently had a potluck at work and decided to look for a festive recipe to share. I love making cheesecake and it is always a crowd pleaser. I had seen some fun holiday recipe ideas on real simple and decided to go for these Santa Cheesecake bites (click through the pics to see these). It was easy to make and they came out very cute. If I made them again I would probably cut the squares bigger and follow the steps for the whipped cream piping, as I didn’t have much time so I used a can of whipped cream (gasp!). The cheesecake was surprisingly light due to the addition of the white chocolate I think. I don’t even like white chocolate but these turned out great. Everyone was very happy with the results. Check out the link for some other cute holiday desserts, I think we will make the pretzel Santa hats for Santa this year.
Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites – from realsimple.com
Yield: 25
Ingredients
  • 18 Oreos finely crushed to about 1 3/4 cups*
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted and divided
  • 2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 25 fairly small, fresh strawberries (or more if cutting more squares)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with two large sheets of tinfoil (one going horizontally and one over the top of the other vertically. Make sure your sheets are long enough that you’ll have an overhang of foil over the edges of the pan. Also, be sure to mold it well to the pan). Brush foil with 1/2 tbsp melted butter. In a mixing bowl, using a fork blend together crushed Oreos and 2 Tbsp melted butter until mixture is well combined and evenly moistened. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish (the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass works well for pressing crust), set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed, blend together cream cheese and granulated sugar until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well blended. In a separate microwave safe bowl, heat white chocolate chips with 1/3 cup heavy cream on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour melted white chocolate mixture into cream cheese mixture and blend on low speed until combined. Tap bowl against counter top about 30 times to release some of the air bubbles then pour mixture over prepared crust in baking dish.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes then turn oven off and without opening oven door allow cheesecake to rest in warm oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3 hours or refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • Once cheesecake is fully chilled and set, remove from freezer or refrigerator and lift cheesecake out of pan using the foil overhang. Cut cheesecake into squares (I’d recommend cutting them just a bit larger the the width of your strawberries. Also it’s nice to keep some clean paper towels close by to clean your knife while cutting squares).
  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on high speed, whip remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add powdered sugar and mix until stiff peaks form.
  • To assemble: cut a flat top off of each strawberry and lay flat side down over top of cheesecake. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag and cut a small tip of corner) with sweetened whipped cream and pipe around strawberry then finish with a small amount over the top of the “hat”. Serve immediately (for do ahead- you can make cheesecake the day before then assemble within an hour of serving the following day). Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • *Don’t use Doublestuff Oreos. I processed the Oreos in a food processor but if you don’t have one you can place them in a large Ziploc bag, seal bag and finely crush with a rolling pin .
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