Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

We don’t typically celebrate half birthdays around here but on June 3rd we decided we would make an exception to the rule. You see, that was the day our little guy turned 4 1/2 years old and in the week before this momentous occasion we received our first foster care placement. While this has been a good thing it has also come with some adjusting. And since he has done such a great job with learning how to share his toys as well as his mom and dad we decided that we wanted to mark the date with something special just for him.

He was pretty excited! While you might not think a 4 year old palate would be refined enough for cheesecake you would be mistaken. This boy knows his cheesecake. I think this may be the first one I’ve actually baked since he was old enough to eat it, but he has eaten it elsewhere and it is a dessert that has stuck in his mind like glue!

While this is not my favorite cheesecake recipe, I like this particular one because it goes with our mini cheesecake pans and it is so easy to cut it in half and make only one little mini that is perfect (maybe still a bit much) for our little family. It is a bit on the sweet side for me, if you can imagine that, but I manage to muscle some down every time. Enjoy!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Makes one mini (5.5″/2 cup) cheesecake

Crust:
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium eggs
4 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Brush bottom and sides of mini springform pan with a bit of melted butter.  Chill in the freezer until ready to use.

In a small bowl using a fork, mix crushed graham cracker, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, and butter. Press onto the bottom of springform pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Using a mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time on low speed until blended. Add chocolate chips or any other mix-in at this time. Pour batter over the crust. Place pan on cookie sheet.

Bake at 300 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool before removing from ring of pan. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

**You can add any topping you would like. We chose to add fresh raspberries and a bit of chocolate syrup to this one.**

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