Monday, March 4, 2013

Elegant Cheesecake Bites

1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (or use vanilla wafers or chocolate graham crackers)
4 TBS butter, melted

2 - 8oz packages Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 TBS orange juice
1 tsp Vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 c sour cream

1/2 c 60% cocoa chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325; place a baking pan with 1/2 inch of water on the lowest rack of the oven.

Line 8 inch square metal baking pan with foil, grease generously.

Mix crumbs & melted butter together in small bowl; press evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.

Using mixer, cream Neufchatel until smooth. Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips); beat on medium speed until creamy & smooth. Spoon gently over crumb crust, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Place pan on center rack in oven & bake for 40-45 minutes until top of cheesecake no longer looks "wet" & edges are set.

Remove from oven & allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until well chilled; cover with foil & freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove cheesecake from freezer. Carefully lift from pan using edges of the foil liner. Place on large cutting board; using chef's knife (or other large sharp knife), cut cheesecake evenly into 36 squares (6x6). Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Using small spoon, drizzle chocolate over top of cheesecake squares. The chocolate will set quickly; score with knife immediately, pressing drizzle back onto squares if necessary. Place individual squares in decorative mini cupcake liners. Chill until ready to serve. May be refrozen.

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