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Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes

Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes from @loveandoliveoil

One of my favorite family recipes of all time is for a chocolate swirl cheesecake. And unlike other cheesecakes I’ve posted, this one is not an heirloom, passed down through the generations. Rather, it came in a pile of junk mail. It was a promotion for one of those monthly ‘recipe club’ type subscriptions, where you pay up front and get the snazzy binder, and then every month get a stack of new recipe cards that you are then responsible for sorting yourself into the various divided sections.

The recipe in question was tucked in a stack of sample recipes, meant to coerce you into dropping some mad cash on the whole set. We never purchased the whole set, but that cheesecake recipe was too enticing to ignore. I think my mom and I made well over a dozen of those cheesecakes during my middle and high-school years. The recipe was lost for a brief time, but thanks to my “I’m going to compile my own cookbook” phase in high school (the lure, I think, in designing my own recipe cards and assembling my own snazzy binder more than anything — once a designer, always a designer, I say) I had a copy of the recipe buried deep in the prehistoric folders of my hard drive, the ones that have been mindlessly moved from one computer to the next without a thought as to what vintage treasures they might contain (hello, high school salutatorian speech! Now there’s a memory I don’t care to relive). But there it was, our trusty recipe, re-typed and re-formatted by my 16-year-old self. Resurrected for us to enjoy once again.

While I’ve never posted that exact recipe on the blog, I often find myself thinking about that cheesecake, even though it’s been years since I’ve made it. Visions of chocolate and vanilla swirls swirled around in my head, and it was these thoughts that ultimately inspired today’s recipe.

Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes from @loveandoliveoil

After extensive research, I have undeniable proof of the following facts (henceforth known is Lindsay’s Laws of All Things Sweet):

1. Everything is better in miniature.

2. Everything is better with marzipan.

3. When in doubt, top it with chocolate.

These guiding principles led me to these: Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes. The batter is infused with a generous chunk of high quality, European marzipan (the good stuff), but you can use almond paste as well. Stay away from the dry, crumbly stuff that calls itself marzipan (imposter!) It’s more sugar than almond and won’t do much for the flavor of these cheesecakes.

Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes from @loveandoliveoil

I topped each cheesecake with a marzipan flower for good measure.

How precious.

Now, should you disagree with me about baking principle #1 (everything is better in miniature), you could make this recipe as-is in a 7-inch springform pan. Or double it for a 9-inch pan. Just monitor your baking time, which will be more like 45 minutes to an hour instead of the 20 minutes needed for the minis.

Marzipan Mini Cheesecakes

Yield: 12 servings

Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

For Crust:

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (5 ounces or about 18 cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal or finely ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:

  • 4 ounces marzipan or almond paste
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2 blocks) regular cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For Glaze:

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix together cookie crumbs, almond meal, and melted butter until evenly moistened. Spoon 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into each cup, then press firmly using the bottom of a small glass (such as a shot glass). Set aside.
  3. Combine marzipan and sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until combined and evenly broken up. Add cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by salt, vanilla, and almond extract, pulsing and scraping down the sides of the container as needed to ensure even mixing.
  4. Divide filling mixture among muffin cups, filling them each about 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until tops are beginning to crack and centers are just set. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. To prepare the glaze, place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to steam; pour over chopped chocolate and let stir for 30 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Spoon on top of chilled cheesecakes, filling the remaining empty space in the cupcake wrapper with glaze. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until set. Serve cold or at room temperature. Cheesecakes can also be frozen and enjoyed for up to 2 months.

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42 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 5:16 am

    These cheesecakes looks so divine! I agree chocolate+marzipan+cheesecake.. irresistible!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Well not quite eveything is better in miniature! Diamonds for one…! ;)

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I love marzipan too and I hardly know anybody else who does – but I live in Europe! So apparently we have all the good stuff and nobody appreciates it. Typical! xxx

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Love your laws of all things sweet!  I second every one of them :)  These little cheesecakes look perfect!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 7:12 am

    What perfect mini-bites. And, you’re right. Everything does go better with chocolate, especially marzipan. Can’t wait to make these! Love your blog.

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 7:29 am

    So cute! I love mini desserts and the marzipan flower is just adorable :-)

    Reply

  7. 7
    Beth
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for posting, these are just beautiful & I am sure they taste wonderful too!

    I have been making Bonquet with my mother since I was a kid (it’s our (Dutch) heirloom recipe) and I just love Marzipan!! It is, however, increasingly difficult to find. At least, the good stuff is hard to find. Any tips on where to buy it?

    Reply

    • Beth
      Posted On April 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks Lindsay!
      … perhaps a ‘Marzipan Kitachen Challenge’ is due for future plans?!? ;)

  8. 8
    Vickie S.
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 8:02 am

    What a lovely post! You reminded me of myself in my early married years, receiving those offers in the mail and identifying one really great recipe out of a bunch of so-so ones. I love all things mini, I love chocolate and I love marzipan, so what’s not to love about this! Can’t wait to make them and thanks again!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Laura
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one whose teenage self decided to create her own fancy recipe book! The lure of designing recipe cards is (still) too much to resist. I’ve been workin on my upgraded adult version forever now! It’ll be beautiful if I ever finish…

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I agree, everything is better in miniature.  These little cheesecakes are adorable.  

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I love this story. And I completely agree that everything is better with marzipan and with chocolate. Not sure about the miniature thing – but, that said these are just all too irresistibly adorable…

    Reply

    • Posted On April 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

      If I were to add a sub-law that it is totally acceptable to eat 2 or 3 if they are miniature? :)

  12. 12
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Love the story behind this recipe! In addition to mini food, great stories always make recipes taste better :) pinned!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    these look simply gorgeous Linds! perfectly springy, and yes miniature everything is always better :)

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    yay for mini everything!  these are so adorable Linds, perfect for spring :)

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    This looks absolutely fabulous! They’re so delicate and look so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    These look divine!  I am going to have to plan a dinner just to serve these!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I adore your photography! Also, your laws, I like them! Everything is definitely better in mini form,and marzipan and chocolate can only make it more delicious. Love these!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Love your three rules! Mini things are the best things!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On April 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Everything is totally better in mini form, especially these cheesecakes!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

    These look delicious! I cannot wait to try out the recipe.

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Marzipan and chocolate are two of my favorite ingredients and these cheesecakes look delicious. I’m definitely making these. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Completely agreed that everything is better miniature (though, as a short person, I may be biased!). I’m so glad you didn’t throw out that junk mail pile with this recipe in it–it’s a win for sure! I was reading through the comments and agree with whoever said a Marzipan Kitchen Challenge was in order–I was wondering how difficult homemade marzipan is too!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I agree with all 3 of your points… except that when its miniature, i eat so many more!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Cute, delish-looking! What did you do to mold the flowers? Specifically what tool?

    Reply

    • Posted On April 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Just a little flower-shaped cookie cutter. :) Then impressed the center with the tip of a chopstick.

  25. 25
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Marzipan.. it reminds me of Europe  where I grew up. They are so popular during Easter time:)

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

    These are so pretty and with marzipan and chocolate flavours I’ll bet they are utterly delicious too – great for afternoon tea!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Lila
    Posted On April 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    These look fabulous! I can’t help but wonder about the junk mail recipe… please post it as well.

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On April 5, 2014 at 11:26 am

    These mini cheesecakes look fabulous! I love marzipan more than peanut butter! Serious statement! Can’t wait to try these out! {gotta love free recipes, btw!} Pinned

    Reply

  29. 29
    Posted On April 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    This recipe is literally three of my favorite things combined into one. I love you for it. I really do.

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On April 12, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Everything IS better in miniature. I love you that held onto this recipe for so long. These are beautiful, love that layer of chocolate on top!

    Reply

  31. 31
    Posted On April 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    My husband is crazy about marzipan. I guess it’s a British thing. Cheesecake is also his favorite dessert, so I think he’s really going to love these.

    Reply

  32. 32
    Erin Masi
    Posted On May 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I made these last weekend for my boyfriend’s birthday. THEY WERE TO DIE FOR. Definitely going to be making them again! YUM!

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On June 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    OK, these have rolled around on the “I must make these this week” agenda…I’ve kept the photo of them on my computer desktop and now they are going to a baby shower. Are these made with full-sized cupcake wrappers or mini-cupcake wrappers…I suppose you could do either way, but I don’t want to waste the marzipan since it’s kind of expensive. Thanks so much and I’ll let you know how they were received.

    Reply

    • Posted On June 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      The recipe is written for regular muffin sized. But yes, you could definitely do them mini if you want, you’d probably end up with about 48 of them instead of 12 (and adjust the cooking time accordingly).

    • Posted On June 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you so much. Off to the kitchen I go. I was unsuccessful with any kind of imported marzipan…I’m using almond paste…let’s see.

  34. 34
    Joanie Ellis
    Posted On December 21, 2014 at 12:27 am

    is there a way to see the recipe without the background….I really can’t see the recipe and would love to try it! Thanks

    Reply

    • Posted On December 21, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Guessing you are on an iphone? If so, try reloading. It’s a quirk with apple’s iOS that sometimes transposes background images. You can also click the print link for a plain text view or view it on a computer.

  35. 35
    Joanie Ellis
    Posted On December 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

    thanks, I am on my iPad, good to know!
    I’m looking forward to trying these.

    Reply

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