I don’t make a lot of candy – but this combination sounded to delish not to give it a try. Turns out they are one small bite of chocolate heaven and so easy to make. What a fun treat to offer your guests after dinner. I think if you added a drop of mint extract instead of the lemon they would taste like a peppermint patty. Perfect with coffee after a special dinner. Enjoy.
Makes 24 cups - prep time 45 minutes (includes chilling time)
4 ounces (1/2 of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 TBSP sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract (I use The Spice House pure vanilla)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 ½ cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 TBSP large flake sea salt
In a bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag* and refrigerate.
Combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate with the oil in a double boiler).
Line the mini muffin pan with paper candy cups (you can find these at Michaels or JoAnn’s). Spoon 1 tsp. of the melted chocolate into each cup, tap the pan on a the counter so the chocolate flattens out then refrigerate the pan for 15 minutes until the chocolate is firm.
Remove the pan and the cheesecake mixture from the fridge. Pipe a portion of the cheesecake mixture in the center of each cup, then top the cheesecake with another 1 to 2 tsp. of melted chocolate. Sprinkle the tops of each cup with sea salt then return the pan to the fridge for 20 minutes until the chocolate has fully hardened. If not serving immediately, store the cups in an airtight container in the fridge.
*If you don’t own a piping bag – I think you could use a small spoon to put the cream cheese into cups.
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