Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cheesecake in a Jar!

There have been a ton of posts on Pinterest lately that have included cooking in Mason jars.  Obviously, I loved creating a cocktail in one, why not cook??

I'm not a huge cheesecake person, but I love chocolate and peanut butter, so when I found this recipe for a peanut butter cheesecake on an Oreo crust with a Nutella topping, I was sold!

So, first of all, start with 12 (4oz) mason jars.  (And, yes, they are oven safe.  My mother pestered me, worried, several times over about this.)
Oreo Crust Ingredients: 
16 Oreo Cookies, ground in a food processor
3 Tblsp Butter, melted
Pam Baking Spray (spray all jars with it)

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Ingredients:
12 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
7.5 oz container Creme Fraiche (or sour cream)
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 Cup Peanut Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Nutella Topping:
1/2 Cup Nutella
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream   
Crust Directions:
1. Decimate the Oreos in a food processor, and place in a separate bowl.
2. Melt butter and then drizzle over the Oreo crumbs.
3. Mix well.
4. Divide the Oreos among your Pam-ed jars, then press the crumbs down firmly.
5. Place the jars in a lipped pan, and then place them in the fridge to chill out (literally) while you make the cheesecake.

*For those gluten free-ers, just omit the crust.  Still amazing!
 Cheesecake Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
2. Using your mixer, blend the cream cheese, creme fraiche/sour cream, and sugar until smooth.
3. Add the vanilla, cream, and peanut butter, and beat until smooth.
4. Beat in the eggs one at a time until just blended.
5. Add your cheesecake filling to your prepared crusts.  I filled mine up to the threads (where the lid screws on).
6. Fill the pan that your jars are sitting in with water.  The jars should have between 1/4" and 1/2" of water surrounding them (basically enough to cover where the crust is).
7. Bake your cheesecakes for about 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and onto a cooling rack or safe surface to help them cool.
9. Once the jars have completely cooled, you can put the lids on and transfer them to your fridge.

From there, they can sit for a night or more.  There's something about time in the fridge that generally helps cheesecakes
The cheesecakes rose nicely in the oven, but they did settle back down as they cooled, leaving enough space for the topping.

I made my cheesecakes on a Friday morning and didn't take them out of the fridge until Sunday morning.  They were perfect.

When you're ready, put the Nutella (1/2C) and heavy whipping cream (1/4) in a microwave safe bowl/measuring cup.  Zap it for a minute or two, stopping twice to stir it.
Once the Nutella and cream have combined for a tasty topping, add it to your cheesecakes, filling the jar the rest of the way.  Then, return to the fridge to set until you're ready to serve up these delicious bad boys.

I left a slight gap at the top so I could place a cupcake cover over the top as a lid before closing the ring around the jar.

These are the perfect size for a picnic, or an individual portion for yourself for days to come!

Literally.  I ate one a day for about 5 days.  AMAZING.
Post-lunch snack at my desk!

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