Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chocolate-Covered Cheesecake Squares

I had grand plans for these babies. I found the recipe in Taste of Home (Oct/Nov 2007) and was instantly determined to make them at some point. I found my perfect chance when planning desserts for my friend Ellen's baby shower. She loves cheesecake and chocolate, so what could be better?

Well, let's just say that mine didn't turn out exactly like the picture. See, you're supposed to cut the cheesecake into bite-sized squares and dip them completely in chocolate. Sounds simple enough, I guess. And the picture showed absolutely flawlessly dipped little delights. Huh.

Maybe my first mistake was not adding enough butter to the crust. See, I doubled the recipe (which calls for 1/4 cup butter) so we could have some at home and made it in 13x9 inch pan. So technically I should have used 1/2 cup butter, or one whole stick. As I was getting down to work, I realized that most of my butter was in the freezer. Except for one "almost" whole stick in the fridge. It might have been missing 1.5 Tablespoons. So I just used that. Disastrous decision. My crust turned out so crumbly, it made dipping nearly impossible because all the crust would just stay in the chocolate. Argh!!! Crumby chocolate is NOT impressive. Well, that's what you get for improvising a little when baking. Not a good idea. So I had to alter my dipping strategy a little. Truthfully, I don't know if that extra butter would have made THAT much difference......I just can't see how dipping these could be easy after trying it.

Regardless, the result was delicious and people raved about them.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 0z each) cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream (light is fine)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t. vanilla extract
24 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used this amount for my double batch and still had a little left over....I guess because I didn't dip mine all the way)
3 T. shortening
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, optional
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and grease the foil. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and butter. Press into prepared pan; set aside.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust.
Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until chilled. Freeze overnight.
Melt chocolate and shortening, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly. Using foil, lift cheesecake out of pan. Gently peel off foil; cut into 49 squares. Remove a few pieces at a time for dipping; keep remaining squares refrigerated until ready to dip.
Using a toothpick (or fork or your fingers), dip squares, one at a time, into melted chocolate.
Place on wax paper lined baking sheets. Let stand 20 minutes or until set. (I tried dipping only the cheesecake part and only the crust part. Both were easier than trying to cover the entire square. Plus I could drizzle extra chocolate in a contrasting color on the top.)
If using white chocolate, melt it until smooth and pour into a sandwich bag. Snip off one tiny corner and drizzle the cheesecake squares as desired.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
These can actually be eaten frozen, although they taste much better thawed for a little while. They are really good. And of course, you could customize it by changing the cheesecake flavor.


  1. How about butter or cream or 1/2 and 1/2 instead of the shortening? (Also, how about making this as just a whole cheesecake? Cutting into 157 pieces: ugh.)

  2. I'm sure that butter or cream would work well. And actually, the whole cheesecake would be great....but cutting it into squares wasn't the hard part, the dipping was! Ya know, for a gathering where people will be standing and mingling, it's nice to have little dainty treats you can pick up and eat in one bite rather than have a piece of cheesecake you have to use a fork for. That's why I did the little squares. I think if I make them again, I'll skip the dipping part and just drizzle chocolate on them. The cheesecake part was really delicious, and I usually don't prefer plain cheesecake. It'd also be great with toffee bits added to the batter or some equivalent.


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