Many years ago, maybe in 2007-ish, there were these Sara Lee cheesecake bites they sold in the frozen section at grocery stores. They were so poppable, sort of like bon-bon’s but cheesecake instead. I remembered them a few weeks and began craving that poppable crunch that is sooo addictive. That crisp chocolate shell that snaps when you bite into it and creamy and delicate cheesecake in the middle!! OMG! So, here were are, fulfilling another food fantasy 🙂
These are so extremely good. I use a modified version of Chantal’s New York Cheesecake. You may picture them being super rich and overly-chocolatey, but they are not overwhelming – it’s just the perfect amount of chocolate. And the espresso and the bourbon really add an awesome kick in the background – it sort of helps break up the monotony of too much chocolate (if there is such a thing).
These can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to a week. You can also make the cheesecake the day prior to serving and dip them in chocolate just before serving. That’s what I prefer since the chocolate shell can get a little scratched up and doesn’t look as “perfect” as when they are freshly made.
Also – you can make these as big or small as you want. I went with 1-inch squares, but you can definitely make them even smaller or you can even make them a 2-bite cheesecake piece instead. You can decorate them cute with white chocolate stripes or polka dots (and you can color the white chocolate in any shade you wish. You can also coat these in white chocolate too. The options are endless 🙂
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper (greasing the pan first with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the parchment sticks). Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and evenly press into the baking dish. Freeze until ready to use. Melt the 2 cups of chocolate in a heat-proof bowl for 1 minute in the microwave, stopping each 20 seconds to stir. Once fully melted, add the espresso powder and set aside to cool.
Make the cheesecake
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until very smooth, about 2 minutes (scraping the bowl as needed). Add the sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add the milk, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing enough to just incorporate. Add in the remaining ingredients; sour cream, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate mixture, and flour and mix until smooth. (keep the chocolate bowl for future use)
Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust dish. Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes then freeze for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and pull out the cheesecake by lifting up on the parchment paper. Trim the edges of the cheesecake to make a perfect rectangle, then cut into small bite sized pieces.
Dip the cheesecake bites
Lay out a piece of parchment paper on the counter. In the chocolate bowl, add HALF of the semisweet chopped chocolate and microwave for 1 minute, stopping each 20 seconds to stir, until the chocolate is fully melted. Add remaining chocolate to the warm melted chocolate and stir vigorously until all chocolate is melted. Pop it back in the micro for an additional 5 seconds if needed (but no longer).
Drop a piece of cheesecake into the chocolate to coat, remove it with a fork, tapping it to remove excess chocolate and place on the parchment paper. The chocolate should set up quickly since the cheesecake is cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.