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Black-Bottomed Nutella Swirl Mini Cheesecakes

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Yields 12 cheesecakes

  • by Abigail Johnson Dodge from Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets

These chocolate-hazelnut treats combine the rich creaminess of a cheesecake with the portability and utensil-free convenience of a cupcake.

Video: Watch Abby demonstrate how to make the mini cheesecakes.

For the black bottom
  • 3/4 cup (3-3/4 oz.) finely ground chocolate cookies (I use Nabisco® Famous® Chocolate Wafers)
  • 2 Tbs. (1 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup (4-5/8 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (10 oz.) Nutella
Make the black bottom

Line 12 regular-sized (2-3/4-inch diameter) muffin cups with foil liners (paper ones won’t work here) and lightly grease the bottom and sides.

Put the cookie crumbs and butter in a small bowl and mix with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

Portion the crumbs evenly among the foil liners (1 firmly packed tablespoon in each). If you have a tart tamper, this is a great time to use it. If not, tear off a piece of plastic wrap, place it over the crumbs, and use your fingers to press firmly to make a compact layer. Slide the tin into the refrigerator while you make the filling. (This helps keep the crumbs on the bottom when you are swirling the batters together.)

Make the cheesecake

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F. Put the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Continue beating until well blended and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently; there should be no lumps. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed until just blended. Once the eggs have been added to the batter, it’s important to mix thoroughly without overbeating or the cheesecake will puff and crack during baking.

Scoop out 1 cup of the vanilla batter and set aside. Add the Nutella to the remaining batter and stir until well blended. Portion the Nutella batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (about 4 Tbs. per cup). Next, portion the vanilla batter evenly among the cups (about 1 Tbs. in each). The cups should be completely filled.

Drag and fold the tip of a wooden skewer, toothpick, or paring knife through the two batters in a swirled pattern. There should still be solid streaks of each batter visible, and the cups should be filled to the brim. Tap the muffin tin on the counter to settle the batters. Bake until the centers barely jiggle when the pan is nudged, 20 to 22 minutes. Set the muffin tin on a rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 6 hours.

Make Ahead Tips

The baked cheesecakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Once cooled, cover the muffin tins with plastic (tin and all to keep the foil perky and pretty), then refrigerate or freeze.

Photo: Scott Phillips

A just okay recipe. You can't taste the Nutella! I will try using a hazelnut liqueur next time. Reserving 1/2-2/3 a cup of the plain cream cheese filling is plenty. I also was able to make 16 mini cheesecakes.

Everyone loved it! I reserved 1/2c of the vanilla batter and it was enough for me. It was great in that it wasn't overly sweet and lower in calories than other recipes that use more eggs, butter, sugar and doesn't use sour cream. Excellent w/a cup of coffee!

These are quite simple to make and delicious. Third time my daughter has requested me to make them. I also froze them and they were perfect. I made them in the mini cheesecake pan.

Just made these for my holiday open house. Big hit -- glad I doubled the recipe. Reserving 1 cup of vanilla batter was way too much-- only needed 1/2 cup. They're just sweet enough.

Such chocolate flavor!! Amazing, very rich, silky and smooth, and sure to impress. They do take longer than 22 minutes to bake, baked mine at 24, still not quite long enough. Think it is best to reserve slightly under 1 cup of the vanilla base, will serve these this week and update review after baking a second batch. They do need overnight refrigeration to set well.

These are delicious. I love the idea with the chocolate cookies at the base...I just used a food processer to crush the cookies into tiny pieces, very easy. My only issue is that my cheesecakes were not ready after even 22 minutes in the oven...I took them out and let them chill over night and they are still 'pudding like' in the center. Still yummy though, especially with a bit of whipped cream. Next time I'll cook them longer.

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