Nutella Cheesecake Bites

No matter how hard I’ve tried, I just can’t get into American football. Okay, to be fair, I haven’t tried that hard — though I did go to a Redskins game once. But the husband loves the sport and since we received a few invitations to watch the Ravens-49ers showdown at friends’ houses, I looked for things I could get excited about during the Superbowl. The commercials? Sure, I was looking forward to seeing what advertisers came up with this year. Beyonce? She’s been rehearsing so much for the halftime time show that she didn’t have time to practice the National Anthem with the U.S. Marine Band ahead of the Inauguration. I admit, I was intrigued. But mainly, I was excited about the food. Wings, crab cake, pulled pork… our hosts were teasing me with the promise delectable offerings. I didn’t want to show up empty ended and with World Nutella Day (a much more exciting day than Superbowl Sunday if you ask me…) around the corner, I decided I’d experiment with some Nutella recipe I could bring over. The result worked out pretty well, so I’m glad to share it with you on this most glorious of holidays:

Nutella Cheesecake Bites
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
Makes 12 cupcake sized “bites”
3/4 cups chocolate graham crakers, finely ground in a food processor
2 tbsp melted butter
2 packages (8 oz each) softened cream cheese
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup Nutella

To make the crust, pulse the graham crackers together with the melted butter. Line a muffin tray with paper liners and spread 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture at the bottom of each liner. I used a  muddler to turn them into a crust-like, compact layer. The cheesecake mixture was very simple to make in a kitchen-aid, I’m sure it’s a little more work if you don’t have one… Use the paddle attachment to fluff the cream cheese into a smooth mixture, then add the sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs one by one and mix thoroughly. Set aside one cup of the cream cheese batter and mix the Nutella with the rest. Once it is well blended, use it as the second layer of the cheesecake bites. The plain cheesecake will be the last layer, but should be smaller than the Nutella layer. Once the liners have been filled you can leave the layers as they are or use a toothpick to create a swirl effect. Either way, the mini cheesecakes should bake at 300°F for 22 minutes. Once they are cooked, refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 

Enjoy! And remember, World Nutella Day > Superbowl Sunday. 

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