‘Tis the season. You know, that in-between time when spring isn’t here yet and we are so incredibly sick of winter and we need something to get us through?
Enter the Girl Scouts. I don’t know much about the organization, having never taken the pledge myself. But I do know this: any outfit that sells boxes of cookie magic while I’m busy scraping ice off the windshield is the best.
Most people are all about Thin Mints, and a slightly smaller contingent salivates for Samoas. But an even tinier group of us proclaim our undying devotion to the most underrated of all Girl Scout cookies: Tagalongs, a.k.a. Peanut Butter Patties.
Though I favor Tagalongs above all, I am an equal-opportunity dessert enthusiast. Why discriminate against the other flavors? So I decided to make these mini-cheesecakes based on the three most chocolaty Girl Scout cookie flavors.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. To break it down, here’s what’s happening:
- A Girl Scout cookie at the base of the mini-cheesecake (Thin Mint, Samoa or Tagalong)
- A layer of fudgy brownie
- Cheesecake with mini chocolate chips
- Matching Girl Scout cookie crumbles on top
Yes, it’s evil genius. And it’s way too decadent. And I don’t care.
You just have to be careful when you’re baking them because if you don’t remember which cookie is at the base, you’ll mismatch the cookie crumble on top. I made a chart. But I’m a total weirdo.
Still, who can argue with this afternoon snack?
See, I couldn’t decide which one to eat. So I ate them all.
One thing to be aware of: since you are baking chocolate-covered cookies in muffin liners, it’s best to spray the liners very gently so that the chocolate peels off the paper easily after cooking. Here’s what the bottom of the Samoa mini-cheesecake looks like after coming out of its muffin liner with no problem:
I’d talk more about it, but my mouth is full.
Really, whatever it takes to get through March, go for it. This week we’ve had a snowstorm followed by 60-degree weather. It’s madness, and the only constant in life is chocolate. So grab a fork and dig in!
Okay, before I get lost in these and forget to tell you, here’s how I did it:
- Girl Scout cookies of your choice, 12 (reserve two more of each flavor for topping)
- 1/2 lb. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners. Spray them lightly with cooking spray.
Place a Girl Scout cookie at the bottom of each muffin liner, choosing which flavor goes where. Be sure to keep track of where each kind of cookie is located!
Make the brownie layer. Combine the melted butter with the cocoa and stir until the cocoa is dissolved. Add the sugar and stir until it’s fully incorporated into the mixture. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir again. Finally, add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.
Place enough brownie batter in each muffin liner to cover the cookie underneath, about two tablespoons. You will have batter left over.
Place the muffin pan in the oven and let the brownies bake for ten minutes. Then, remove from the oven.
While the brownie layer is baking, make the cheesecake. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, and then add the vanilla and egg until everything is creamy. Fold in the mini-chocolate chips.
Spoon the cheesecake batter evenly over the muffin liners. You may have a little left over.
Then, crumble the Girl Scout cookies over the cheesecake batter. Use your judgment about how much cookie to crumble.
Place the mini-cheesecakes in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the edges are a little golden and the cheesecake layer is set.
Cool the mini-cheesecakes completely and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Serve, but be careful! They disappear fast.
By the way, if you have leftover batter, use it. I took the brownie batter, put it into another muffin tin, swirled the tiny amount of cheesecake batter I had left into the brownies, and baked them. Hello, brownie cheesecake muffins!