This cheesecake is awesome! The little rats are so, so cute and they are entirely edible, made from strawberries covered in chocolate and sprinkled with black decorating sugar. The ears and fangs are almonds. The tails are made from gummy candy cut into thin strips and dipped in chocolate. Halloween guests will beg for more “rats on cheese”. I took the recipe from Redbook online, September 2007.
1½ c. ground chocolate wafers
4 tbsp. Sugar
5 tbsp. butter
2 package cream cheese
½ c. Sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp. grated orange zest
½ c. sour cream
Yellow food coloring
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Combine cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl; stir well. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and sides of prepared tart pan. Bake until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and making sure to scrape sides of the bowl. Add orange zest and sour cream and beat until just blended.
Add 4 drops of yellow food coloring and stir well to blend. Remove 1/2 cup of the cheesecake batter and place into a small bowl. Add 5 drops of yellow food coloring to the 1/2 cup batter and stir well. Spoon into a resealable bag.
Pour light yellow batter into baked tart crust and smooth top. Snip a very small corner from bag with darker yellow batter. Pipe random spots of batter on top of the tart in a variety of sizes to make the cheese holes. Bake tart until lightly puffed and center is just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with Chocolate Rats.
8 large strawberries
1 container dipping chocolate
½ c. black decorating sugar
Yellow and brown candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
Black licorice laces
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Trim a small piece from one side of each strawberry so they can rest horizontally on wax paper. Insert 2 sliced almonds — about 1 inch from pointed end of strawberry and about 1 inch apart — to make the ears of the rat.
Follow heating directions for dipping chocolate. Insert a fork into the large end of a strawberry. Holding strawberry on fork over container of dipping chocolate, spoon chocolate over strawberry to coat. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, tapping fork lightly. Sprinkle with black sugar to coat and transfer strawberry to prepared cookie sheet. Add yellow candies for the eyes, slivered almonds for the teeth, and brown candies for the nose. Repeat with the remaining 7 strawberries. Refrigerate rats until ready to serve.
Make a hole with a toothpick in back side of a chocolate-covered strawberry and insert one end of a 4-inch piece of black licorice for the tail. Repeat with the remaining 7 strawberries. Serve with Creepy Critter Cheesecake.
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