Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Sometimes a chocolate dessert is just what the doctor orders! In all honesty, this calorie bomb would probably NEVER be what a doctor would order, but man- was it tasty!

I was inspired to make a special dessert and I jumped on my favorite website (The Smitten Kitchen) to see what my pal, Deb, had going on. I was scrolling through her chocolate desserts and came across her Chocolate Caramel Cheesecakes and swooned. They sounded so good!!!!

Now, the recipe is for one big cheesecake, and while you could be boring and do it that way, I opted for mini cheesecakes. I love anything mini and I find that for portion control – and the ability to share- mini is always best.

I started the recipe with a chocolate cookie crust and used Oreo Thins as my base. These are perfect for a chocolate crumb crust- lots of cookie and not as much filling. I was so happy I found these at the store.

After patting down an equally amount of the crust into each little cupcake container (no link- but found them at HomeGoods! Perfect for mini cheesecakes!!) I began compiling the filling. Since this was a multi-step process and I had never made it before, I prepped all my ingredients for easy access.

Although making my own caramel and then adding it to a cheesecake filing seemed a bit daunting- it was honestly super easy! I actually really liked the process of watching the sugar turn into caramel, it made me feel accomplished, like I actually did something. Really- all I did was watch!

Finally it was time to bake off my little babies. I adjusted the cooking time from the recipe since my cheesecakes were smaller and I checked them after 30 minutes and then in 5 minute intervals after that until they were firm in the center.

The final product was perfection! The cheesecake was a glorious mix of sweet caramel and rich chocolate- with the two things balancing each other out. The mini size hit the dessert-spot and I will definitely be making these again!

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