Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake Bites

If you love coffee and caramel – this is the dessert for you!  Skip the coffee with dessert and treat your guests to these perfect little treats for the Holidays. The coffee lovers in your house will thank you.

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Servings: 24 | Prep Time: 10 min | Total Time: 2 hours 45 min


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INGREDIENTS (For the Crust):

  • 1 stick unsalted Challenge Butter, melted

  • 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS (For the Cheesecake):

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages Challenge Cream Cheese, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

  • ¼ cup espresso or strong coffee

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

INGREDIENTS (For the Garnish):

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons water, divided

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 large can whipped cream topping



DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin tins with cupcake papers.  You will have 24 in total.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the ingredients for the crust.  Evenly distribute
    among the cupcake papers and press down with a measuring cup.  Bake in the oven for 4 minutes, then set aside to cool.

  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

  • Place the Challenge Cream Cheese and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add the sour cream, coffee, and vanilla and mix once more until combined.

  • Evenly distribute the cream cheese batter among the muffin tins.  Bake the cheesecake bites until no longer jiggly in the middle, about 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.

  • While the cupcakes are chilling, make the caramel sauce.  Place the 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of water in a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat.  Gently tilt the pan to stir sugar as it melts, but do not stir.

  • Cook until all of the sugar is melted and it turns an amber color.  Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the cream, 2 tablespoons of water, and salt.  If the sugar hardens and separates from the cream, place back over a medium heat and stir until melted.  Add the ¼ teaspoon salt and stir to combine.  Set aside to cool at room temperature or place in an ice bath to cool. The caramel will be quite thick.

  • Right before serving, garnish the cheesecake bites. Top each with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or let guests garnish their own.