Back in high school I remember my mother trying out a fat free/sugar free cheesecake recipe she had found. That was the first time I had ever tasted cheesecake, so to be honest, I remember thinking it wasn't half bad - keep in mind I had nothing to compare it to! Then The Cheesecake Factory came to town and with one simple taste of their full fat/full sugar worth every calorie and gram of fat cheesecake, my mind was changed forever!
You must be careful with this recipe because the individual size cheesecake cookies are small enough to keep popping in your mouth without realizing how many you have had! Pressing the graham cracker crumbs into the pans was a bit tedious and I had trouble making the crumbs stick together (I may try adding more butter next time), but the cookies were definitely worth the effort. The combination of the soft cheesecake batter with a little crunch of the graham cracker crust and then the saltiness of the snickers made these cookies seriously addicting. I made 12 large cookies using a muffin top pan and about 24 smaller cookies using a mini muffin pan. The mini muffin pan may cook for a bit less than the recipe calls for, so just make sure to check the oven around 15-18 minutes of baking.
Snickers Caramel Cheesecake Cookies
adapted from Picky Palate
2 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp sugar
2 cups chopped Snickers Bars
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp caramel sauce (plus more for garnish)
Whipped Cream (for garnish) *optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chopped Snickers Bars into a bowl and set aside for later. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter into a mixing bowl to combine. Place a couple of spoonfuls of crumbs into each muffin top tin (mini muffin tin) and press down and up the sides a bit. Bake for 5 minutes or until just browned. Remove from the oven.
In a stand or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs and vanilla until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the caramel sauce until well combined. Pour about 1/4 cup of the cheesecake mixture over each baked crust then top evenly with the chopped Snickers Bars. Bake for 23-26 minutes or until cheesecake edges are just starting to brown and the centers are nearly set. Remove and let cool completely. While still warm, loosen all of the edges with a plastic knife to make for easier removal from pan. Refrigerate once cooled then top with caramel sauce and whipped cream to serve.