Monday, April 22, 2013

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust

When Tamara and I were planning a dinner for Courtney's birthday, Tamara came up with an amazing sounding cheesecake idea: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cupcakes with Pretzel Crust and Salted Caramel Glaze.  Yea, she's a genius.

I can't wait to share this recipe, but I am also excited to share my Half Marathon Training! I finally made it up to the double digits and Saturday was my 10 mile run! It went really well and I got to run on a beautiful day through the Madison Arboretum.  It was awesome.  This week I have some shorter runs planned for during the week and then on Saturday, I am running in the Madison Crazylegs Race! I can't wait! I've wanted to run this race all through my college career, but I have always been busy.  Finally, my senior year, I am crossing this one off my bucket list!

Speaking of bucket lists, I got another item checked off when my parents came to town Friday for the UW Marching Band Concert.  We went out for dinner at Roast, saw the concert, and then headed to the Ivory Room for a fun night of dueling pianos.  The bucket list item: my mom and I took a shot together! It was super cute.  We had a really fun time and it was awesome to have them here in Madison.

The rest of the weekend was jam packed with running, DTS Sister Bonding Sleepover, DTS Activation, and lesson planning.  I also spent some time coming up with new recipes and I can't wait to tell you about them!  I hope that everyone has a lovely day and enjoys this amazing recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes with Pretzel Crust
(Cheesecake Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and Caramel Sauce adapted from Cooking Channel)

For the Crust:
1 1/4 cups crushed pretzels
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
16 oz light cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 and place 16 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the crushed pretzels, powdered sugar, and salt.  Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir to combine.  Place 2 tbsp of pretzel mixture into each cupcake liner and, using a small glass, press the crust into the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 325.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the sugar until well combined.  Beat in the cream, eggs, and vanilla until well combined.  Beat on high for a few minutes until light and fluffy.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into cupcake wells until it is almost to the top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheesecakes are no longer wobbly.  Let cool for an hour and then place in fridge for 1 hour.
4.  To make the caramel sauce, heat the sugar with the water in a medium pot over medium heat until completely dissolved.  Increase the heat and bring to a boil.  Continue to cook, without stirring, until your mixture is a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and cream.  Mixture will bubble violently.  Whisk until well combined and whisk in the salt.  Let cool completely.  Mixture will thicken as it cools.  Drizzle over cooled cheesecakes.  You can store the extra caramel sauce in the fridge.

Enjoy :)

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