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Marché Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel

For the Crust:
18 whole Oreos
¼ cup melted unsalted butter

For the Filling:
two 8 oz packages of full fat cream cheese at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup full fat sour cream or plain yogurt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or bourbon vanilla paste
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips-divided

For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces1
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream2
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 24-count mini muffin tin with paper liners. The recipe makes approximately 72 mini cheesecakes so if you have more than one mini tin line all of them at once.

To Prepare Crust:
In mixing bowl or food processor crush Oreos into crumbs. Add melted butter and mix well. Place a heaping teaspoon of Oreo crumb/butter mixture into each muffin liner. Press mixture down with fingers or flat side of a spoon. Bake 5 minutes to set crust.

To Prepare Filling:
In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream or yogurt. Add eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Fold in ¾ cup mini chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups almost full with chocolate chip batter. Bake cheesecakes 13-17 minutes or until they are puffed up and cracked on top.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make Caramel sauce:
Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes. A whisk helps if you find the butter is separating from the sugar. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added. Cool completely and store in air tight glass container.

To Serve:
Top with dollop of caramel, remaining mini chips and a sprinkle of Maldon flake sea salt.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking