Saturday, September 5, 2015

Mini Chocolate Pies with Almond Crust

I have a chocolate cheesecake recipe I’ve been using for years. I have no clue where the original one came from, but I’ve tweaked it a little here and there and now it’s just…well, to be honest…it's heavenly J

In fact, I used it for the filling in the little chocolate cups you see in my header up top. Well, I made this a couple weeks ago. I used store-bought chocolate cups and just piped the chocolate cheesecake filling in each cup but there are only 12 cups in a package and I had lots left over.

So….I found these adorable little paper baking “pans” at the grocery store and used them for the extra filling. Only problem was, what to do for a crust?

I grabbed some almonds (plain) from the freezer and came up with something that I KNOW I’m going to use again and again….and again! The combination of smooth, creamy, dreamy chocolate paired with the nutty wonderfulness of this crust just put dessert time at a whole new level.

Seriously, you gotta try this.

Almond Crust
1 cup plain almonds
½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. butter, melted
½ c. sugar
Pinch of salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 ° 
Place almonds in food processor and pulse until very fine. Add flour, sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Drizzle in melted butter and pulse. Scrape down sides and make sure all ingredients are combined.

Transfer crumb mixture to baking pan(s) and press firmly and evenly on bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
8 oz. pkg of semi-sweet chocolate baking squares (unwrapped)
4 Tbsp. butter
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 regular container of whipped topping, thawed

In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate, sugar and butter. Stir until smooth. Let cool slightly. Add vanilla. In separate bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Add cream cheese to chocolate mixture and mix until blended. Fold in whipped topping until completely mixed well.

I used a piping bag for my mini pies, but you could also spoon it in and finish the top with a cute swirl – it’s up to you J

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