Deadline: eOne Making TV Adaptation Of Janice Hallett’s ‘The Twyford Code’; Gary Neville’s ‘The Overlap’ Tours With Sky Max; ‘Alien Storm’ Cast Set; Indian Originals Land MENA Homes; Mastiff TV Hires — Global Briefs

https://deadline.com/2023/01/gary-nevilles-the-overlap-tours-sky-max-global-briefs-1235245191/

Destination Heartland: A Guide to Discovering the Midwest’s Remarkable Past

          “I wanted to dispel the myth that the Midwest is boring,” Cynthia Clampitt tells me when I ask about the inspiration for writing Destination Heartland: A Guide to Discovering the Midwest’s Remarkable Past (University of Illinois Press), her book about the many fascinating places to visit in the stretch of our country from the Dakotas to Ohio.

         

I’m happy to report that Clampitt’s goal was a success. Her book takes us to both well-known and out-of-the-way destinations that offer a historic perspective and—in some cases—a culinary delight. Think of it as an in-depth historical travel guide and choose from a plethora of places to read about and/or visit covered in her book. I certainly have a few I now want to explore. These include the Amana Colonies in Iowa which started off as a religious society that escaped religious persecution in Germany. But though it’s rooted in the past with many places to visit such as the High Amana General Store and Zuber’s Homestead Hotel which was built in 1862) it’s also one that embraced technology producing, writes Clampitt, “many high-end electronic products, including everything from microwave ovens to washing machines.”

         

Strictly old-fashioned though is the recipe Clampitt shares for pickled ham that was given to her the Ronneberg Restaurant which opened more than 70 years ago in Amana. Pickled ham, one of the specialties of the area, can also be purchased in jars at the Amana Meat Shop & Smokehouse that dates back to 1855.

          Clampitt, a Chicago-based food historian and travel writer who has also authored other books including Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, who says she also wants to keep these icons of the past from disappearing by creating an interest to visit them, learned to appreciate iconic Midwestern destinations when young and visiting places with her family. That developed a long-time fascination that endures to this day.

          This love of exploration isn’t confined to just the Midwest. Clampitt has visited thirty-seven countries on six continents.

          “When I’m not traveling, I’m thinking of traveling,” she says, adding that she does a lot of research in preparation as well.

          Indeed, since the publication of her book, she has racked up more destinations so here’s hope for  a sequel to her book. No matter what, Clampitt will keep traveling and she invites others to do so as well.

          “There are so many places in the Midwest to visit that are remarkable, I don’t want them to vanish,” says Clampitt. “I hope people get in their cars and go visit.”

If Walls Could Talk: Lake Chapala’s historic buildings and their former occupants

Now one of the most popular retirement area for Americans and Canadians, the Lake Chapala Region, nestled in a valley almost a mile high in Mexico’s Volcanic Axis,  has long been a draw for ex-pats and vacationers, lured by its almost perfect climate and beauty.

In his book If Walls Could Talk: Chapala’s historic buildings and their former occupants about Mexico‘s earliest international tourist destination (also available in Spanish), award-winning author Tony Burton shares his knowledge and interest in a region where he has spent more than two decades. Burton, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society who was born and educated in the United Kingdom, first visited Mexico in 1977. That visit was obviously a big success as he returned and for almost 18 years lived and worked full-time in Mexico as a writer, educator and ecotourism specialist.

He met his wife, Gwen Chan Burton who was a teacher of the deaf and then director at the Lakeside School for the Deaf in Jocotepec, one of the three main towns lining the shores of Lake Chapala. Though they now reside on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the Burtons continue to revisit Mexico regularly and he is currently editor-in-chief of MexConnect, Mexico’s top English-language online magazine.

The other two towns, each with its own distinctive vibe, are Ajijic and Chapala, native villages resettled by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s. “This book looks at how Chapala, a small nondescript fishing village in Jalisco, suddenly shot to international prominence at the end of the nineteenth century as one of North America’s earliest tourist resorts,” writes Burton. “Within twenty years, Chapala, tucked up against the hills embracing the northern shore of Mexico’s largest natural lake, was attracting the cream of Mexican and foreign society. Thus began Lake Chapala’s astonishing transformation into the vibrant international community it is now, so beloved of authors, artists and retirees.”

The book, organized as a walking tour, covers not only existing buildings but also pinpoints the spots where significant early buildings no longer stand but their histories still weave a story of the town. It’s only a partial guide, explains Burton, noting that an inventory prepared by the National Institute of Anthropology and History identified more than eighty such buildings in Chapala including many not easily visible from the road but hidden behind high walls and better viewed from the lake.

Among the famous people who lived in Chapala at some point in their careers was author D.H. Lawrence, probably best remembered for his risqué (at the time) novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

In 1923, Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, rented Casa de las Cuentas (House of Rosary Beads), a house that dates back to the 1800s. At the time, a one-story abode with a half-moon entrance and heavy wooden gates, it was located at 307 Calle Zaragoza, a street formerly known as Calle de la Pesquería (“Fishing street”) so named as it was where the local fishermen repaired their nets and hung them out to dry. It was while living on Calle Zaragoza that Lawrence wrote the first draft of The Plumed Serpent, published in 1926. The novel is described asthe story of a European woman’s self-annihilating plunge into the intrigues, passions, and pagan rituals of Mexico.”

Over the decades, after the Lawrences moved out, subsequent changes were made to Casa de las Cuentas including  the addition of a swimming pool in the mid-1950s when artist Roy MacNicol and his wife, Mary, owned the home.

While Lawrence’s writings were considered by some as scandalous, MacNicol’s life had its scandals as well. Burton describes him as “colorful” in that he was married multiple times and was involved in many escapades as well as lawsuits.

Mary, embracing the local culinary traditions including the use of flowers in cooking, authored Flower Cookery: The Art of Cooking With Flowers.

It wasn’t the work of a dilettante as reviews of her book such as this one on Amazon shows.

“Flower Cookery is recipes, but far more than recipes,” writes one reviewer. “The book is organized by the popular name of the flower in question. Each section is introduced with quotations from literature, philosophy, and poetry that feature the blossom. This is followed by the recipes, interwoven with mythology, stories, and aphorisms about the flower, the plant from which it grows, its symbolism, and the culture or society in which humans discovered the value of the plant or blossom. The recipes include original favorites as well as recipes collected from historical sources and contemporary sources around the world. Here is just the tiniest sampling of the riches in the book.”

Burton shares her Christmas Cheer recipe from when she lived at Casa de las Cuentas.

Christmas Cheer

10-12 squash blossoms with stems removed

2 eggs, beaten

2 to 3 tablespoons water

Flour, enough to thicken mixture about one tablespoon

Salt and pepper

1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed, canola, or safflower

Wash and dry squash blossoms on paper towels, making sure to remove all the water. Mix remaining ingredients except oil to make a smooth batter. Place oil in a large, heavy skillet to 350-375°F. Dip blossoms in batter and fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

As for the house, it was renovated again in the early 1980s and is now Quinta Quetzalcoatl, a lovely boutique hotel.

If Walls Could Talk is one of four books that Burton has written on the Lake Chapala region. The other three are Foreign Footprints in Ajijic: decades of change in a Mexican Village; Lake Chapala Through the Ages: an anthology of travelers’ tales  (2008), and the recent Lake Chapala: A Postcard history. All are available as print and ebooks on Amazon.

The above maps, both copyrighted, show Chapala 1915 [lower map] and 1951 [upper map].

In all, he’s planning on adding several more to what he currently calls the Lake Chapala Quartet, these focusing on the writers and artists associated with the area.  I asked him  to describe the region so readers who have never been there can get an idea of what it is like, but it turns out the Burton is NOT a traveler who meticulously plots every moment of a trip before he arrives. Instead, he tells me that part of the fun when traveling is to not know in advance what places are like and instead to see and experience them for yourself.

“That said,” he continues, “the various villages and towns on the shores of Lake Chapala are all quite different in character. The town of Chapala, specifically, is a pretty large and bustling town. It is growing quite rapidly and has added several small high end boutique hotels in recent years, as well as some fine dining options to complement the more traditional shoreline ‘fish’ restaurants. The many old–100 years plus–buildings in Chapala give the town a historic ‘air’ where it is relatively easy to conjure up images of what it was like decades ago. By comparison, Ajijic, now the center of the foreign community on Lake Chapala, has virtually no old buildings and more of a village and artsy feel to it, though it also has very high quality accommodations and more fine restaurants than you can count.”

Other structures still standing include the Villa Tlalocan, completed in 1896 and described by a contemporary journalist as “the largest, costliest and most complete in Chapala… a happy minglement of the Swiss chalet, the Southern verandahed house of a prosperous planter and withal having an Italian suggestion. It is tastefully planned and is set amid grounds cultivated and adorned with flowers so easily grown in this paradisiacal climate where Frost touches not with his withering finger…”

Also still part of the landscape is Villa Niza. One of many buildings designed by Guillermo de Alba, the house, according to Burton, was built in 1919 and looks more American than European in style. Located at Hidalgo 250, it takes advantage of its setting on Lake Chapala and has a mirador (look out) atop the central tower of the structure, which affords sweeping panoramic views over the gardens and lake. De Alba’s strong geometric design boasts only minimal exterior ornamentation.

Burton, who specializes in non-fiction about Mexico, related to geography, history, travel, economics, ecology and natural history, has written several fascinating books about the history of the Lake Chapala region.

In If Walls Could Talk, Burton invites you to walk with him through time as you explore the city.

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, The Millionaire’s Wife, and the Murder of the Century

With the grit and determination to overcome very similar hardscrabble backgrounds, Truman Capote and Ann Woodward both rose to pinnacles in New York’s glittering mid-century high society. But overcoming such comparable odds didn’t make them fast friends. Instead, Ann’s coarse description of Capote’s sexual orientation turned him into a virulent foe. Eventually, each would plummet, losing friends and their reputations.

Their paralleled rise and fall is chronicled in Roseanne Montillo’s Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, The Millionaire’s Wife, and the Murder of the Century, a juicy true crime tome that takes us into the lives of headliners of the time such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lee Radziwill, Claus von Bulow (who would later be accused of attempting to murder his wife), and Babe Paley.

Ann and Billie. Photo source Wikipedia.

For Ann Eden, her romance with Billie started so well. She worked the midnight to 3:00 a.m. shift at Felipe’s, a popular Manhattan night club, performing in a white bathing suit, black fishnet stockings, and high heels. Admirers would invite the dancers to their tables for a cocktail and, possibly, negotiations. There were rumors that Ann was available for more than just drinks and Billie, the handsome heir to a banking fortune, was an attentive beau, who showered her with gifts. There was one drawback: He was married, and she was just a showgirl with a bad pedigree for those who keep score of such things.

But Ann’s beauty and moxie was such that she negotiated for more and ultimately landed one of the biggest matrimony catches when she and Billie wed. But this was no Cinderella marriage despite the expensive homes, extensive wardrobe of designer duds and fur coats, and invitations to soirees packed with a who’s who of upper crust New Yorkers. Ann often felt an overwhelming sadness which she treated with the use of tranquilizers. It wasn’t a good mix with the cocktails she and Billie also overly imbibed. The couple was known for their stupendous, alcohol-fueled rages.

The night Ann shot Billie had proceeded along those lines. Returning from an exquisite party where the candles were soaked in Chanel Number 5 and the table set with silver and the finest China, the two returned to their 43-acre estate and retreated into separate bedrooms. Waking up an hour or so later to the sound of a crash, Ann reached for the shotgun she kept nearby. A burglar had been breaking into houses in their rich neighborhood and Ann, as she would tell police, thought they were being robbed. She fired twice—and only then realized she had killed her husband.

Truman Capote in 1959

Was it a deadly mistake? Or had Ann purposefully fired, knowing it was Billie? After all, if he divorced her, she might lose everything. As his widow, she could maintain the wealthy lifestyle she had struggled so hard to achieve. Billie’s family and friends thought they knew.

As for Capote, he was still riding high on the success of In Cold Blood, which ironically is credited as being the first in the now burgeoning true crime genre. Ann was cleared of her husband’s murder, but Capote was on her trail now. It wasn’t going to be pretty.

“Both were vulnerable and mean,” writes Montillo in the prologue to her book. “Both were familiar with violence and the violence that caused the death of Billy Woodward would, as recounted by Truman Capote 1975, incite fresh violence that would ultimately destroy them both. What began with insults in Saint Moritz would end in death for one and ignominy for the other.”

Salamati: Hamed’s Persian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Iran to the Other Side of the World

for the adventuresome home chef, Allahyari offers a world of flavors.”

In mortal danger for his beliefs, Hamed Allahyari and his pregnant girlfriend fled their homeland of Iran, first spending two months in Indonesia and then, after grueling hours long by truck over badly paved back roads and then days crammed aboard a boat another five months on Christmas Island before being granted asylum by the Australian government. Once there, life remained extremely difficult for the young couple who were now parents of two young children, and though Allahyari had been a chef and restauranteur in Iran, no one was interested—or so it seemed—in Persian cuisine.

Unable to find work Allahyari began volunteering at the Resource Center, an organization that provides support, legal advice, and other assistance including meals to refugees and people seeking asylum.

“Every day they feed 250 people a free lunch,” Allahyari writes in the introduction to his cookbook Salamati: Hamed’s Persian Kitchen: Recipes and Stories from Iran to the Other Side of the World. “I started cooking there two days a week, making Persian food for people from all over the world: Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Miramar, Sierra Leone, all kinds of places, and most of them had never tried Persian food before. But when they tried it, they liked it. They talked to me about it, asked me about it, and it made me happy.”

Culinary Connections

At the recommendation of others, Allahyari also began teaching cooking classes, demonstrating how to make such dishes as Zeytoon Parvadrah (Olive and Walnuts Chunky Dip), Yogurt and Cucumber soup, Sabzi Pofow Ba Mahi (Fish with Herb Pilaf) Sabzi Pofow Ba Mahi (Fish with Herb Pilaf), and Persian Love Cake. Over the years, Allahyari taught more than 2500 people how to make Persian food. Now, he caters and is chef/owner of SalamiTea, a restaurant located in Sunshine, an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Melbourne. The name is a play on “salamati,” the Persian word meaning both “health” and “cheers.”

Salamati is more than just a cookbook, it’s also a memoir and homage to the country he had to flee. The introduction to the featured recipes in his book might offer a personal connection to the dish, a description of a unique ingredient that helps define it and bring out its best flavors—though he also offers a substitute for such items as Persian dried limes, which might be difficult to locate outside of a major city, and/or puts the food in context with the scenes to Iran.

This dish is traditionally served in Iranian shisha shops, the cafes where older men gather to smoke water pipes, drink tea and solve the problems of the world,” he writes about Ghahve Khunee Omelette (Street-Food Tomato Omelette). “Shisha shops don’t really serve food but inevitably people get hungry while they’re hanging around, so it’s become traditional for staff to whip up a quick tomato omelette for customers and serve it with bread, raw red onion, herbs and lemon. If you want one, all you ask for is ‘omelette.’ There’s no menu as such.”

Not all the recipes are easy but for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, there are enough simple ones to get started. Full-color photos of each recipe show what the finished product will look like. And for the adventuresome home chef, Allahyari offers a world of flavors.

This review originally appeared in the New York Journal of Books.

Singapore Cooking: Fabulous Recipes from Asia’s Food Capital

“If you love to cook, are undaunted with unique ingredients, and want to capture the flavors of another land, accept the challenge and get cooking.”

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, chop suey houses were all the rage. Opening early and closing late, they were a place to get a good, cheap meal no matter what time of day or night. Over the following decades chop suey and chow mein remained the go-to dishes for those ordering Asian food. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that American diners discovered other regions of Chinese cuisine, Hunan and Szechuan being the first two major ones. For those who loved the flavors of Asia, Malaysian, Indian, Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese were also added to the selection of what to eat and cook. But Singapore gastronomic endeavors were often overlooked.

Not anymore.

To those in the know, Singapore cuisine has always been, as Terry Tan and Christopher Tan write in their introduction of the cookbook Singapore Cooking: Fabulous Recipes from Asia’s Food Capital (Tuttle Publishing), a topic of utmost importance.

“Some wag once said that the quickest way to start a debate in Singapore is to walk up to a random group of people and ask them “So where can I get the best chicken rice?” the two Tans write in the book’s foreword.

The great Anthony Bourdain also weighed in about the foods of this island nation saying, New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Singapore’s the city that never stops eating. For a gastro-tourist, somebody who travels to eat, any kind of serious eater, Singapore’s probably the best place you can go . . .”

Looking through this glossy paged book with its full-color photos and 100 recipes including those for such dishes as Ayam Tempra–Chicken Braised in Spicy Sweet Soy, Gulai Prawns with Pineapple, Nangka Lemak Young Jackfruit Coconut Curry, and Coconut Pancakes with Banana Sauce, it’s easy to agree that Singapore gastronomy is all “shiok” or in other words “sublime and unspeakably wonderful.”

But though it all sounds delicious, this isn’t necessarily an easily accessible cookbook. Ingredients such as dried prawns, pandanus leaves, and tamarind may mean for many not only a search or special trip to an Asian grocery store but also an added expense and one where they’ll wonder when they might use the product again. Despite this, for anyone who wants to explore a multicultural cuisine that encompasses influences from many of the surrounding countries as well, it is very much worth the effort.

To make it easier for the novice, the authors have organized their book into chapters such as “Marinades, Chutneys, Sambals and Achars” and “Breads, Rice and Noodles” and included a nice glossary of ingredients (with photos!) as well as a brief history of Singaporeans cuisine.

If you love to cook, are undaunted with unique ingredients, and want to capture the flavors of another land, accept the challenge and get cooking.

About the Authors and Photographer

Terry Tan is a distinguished cooking teacher, food consultant, food historian, and writer who has been dishing up Singaporean delights to people around the world for many years. He writes and broadcasts regularly on Asian and Oriental food and cookery from his base in London.

Christopher Tan is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor, and photographer who contributes articles, recipes and pictures to numerous magazines in Asia. Singaporean by birth, he grew up in London and now hangs out anywhere there is good food. You can find his work at www. foodfella.com.

Edmond Ho is a noted food, travel, and lifestyle photographer based in Singapore. In the late 1990s, he introduced a new style of food photography in Singapore using extreme close-ups and blurred backgrounds together with natural lighting. He has done shots for more than 25 cookbooks.

This review originally appeared in the New York Journal of Books.

75 Delicious Recipes: Cheesecake Love

“If it doesn’t have cheesecake in it, it should” is the baking motto that Jocelyn Brubaker lives by. Over the years, she has baked thousands of cheesecakes and challenged herself to work cheesecake into any and every dessert for the millions of readers who try and trust the recipes on her blog.

Now, in her debut cookbook, Cheesecake Love: Inventive, Irresistible, and Super Easy, Brubaker shows all the wild and wonderful ways you can go beyond traditional cheesecake and make creative and mouthwatering cheesecake desserts like:

* Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Brownies
* Cookies-and-Cream Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries
* Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Cookie Bars
* Marshmallow S’mores Cheesecake
* Apple Crumb Cheesecake Pie

With over 75 delicious recipes, dozens of easy-to-use baking tips, gorgeous color photos, and Jocelyn’s warmth and bubbly personality on every page, this cookbook will become the go-to source for all things cheesecake, perfect for new and experienced bakers alike. With Jocelyn by your side in the kitchen, every dessert can become a blank canvas for a little cheesecake love.

About the Author

JOCELYN BRUBAKER is the baker, photographer, and writer behind the popular blog Inside BruCrew Life, which she started in 2008. Jocelyn’s recipes regularly appear on BuzzfeedThe Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan.com, among other sites.

Orange Cream Cheese Cheesecake

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN MAKING THIS ORANGE CREAM CHEESECAKE RECIPE:

  • Make sure you set your cream cheese out ahead of time. It’s so much easier to beat it when it is softened.
  • Toast the macadamia nuts in a skillet for a few minutes, then let them cool before pulsing them in a food processor. Just do not over pulse the nuts, or you will end up with macadamia butter.
  • Place a large baking sheet on the very bottom rack in your oven. Fill it halfway with water and let it heat up. This creates a steam effect as the cheesecake bakes. No water baths ever happen in my kitchen!
  • Do not over mix the cheesecake batter because it will add air bubbles into the batter which could cause cracks as it bakes.
  • When the cheesecake comes out of the oven the second time, let it cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge. This loosens the cheesecake from the pan, so it doesn’t crack as it cools.

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter

For the Cheesecake

  • 1 – 10 ounce can mandarin oranges
  • 3 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten slightly
  • Zest of 1 large navel orange

For the Topping

  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed navel orange juice (from orange that was zested)
  • 1 – 8 ounce container Cool Whip, thawed
  • maraschino cherries with stems, patted dry
  • 1 navel orange cut into small segments
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. Place the macadamia nuts in a skillet and toast over medium heat for a few minutes. Remove and dump the nuts onto a tray to cool completely. Once cool place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Do not over pulse and create butter.
  3. Mix together the chopped nuts, crumbs, and butter. Press firmly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  4. Place a large baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it halfway with water. Let the oven reheat to 350 degrees.
  5. Drain the can of mandarin oranges very well. Place the orange segments onto paper towels to drain even more. Cut each segment in half and press with a paper towel. Set aside.
  6. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the sour cream, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and flour and beat again.
  7. Add the eggs and beat again until mixed in. Do not over beat the mixture. Gently stir in the orange zest and mandarin orange pieces.
  8. Pour the batter onto the prepared crust. Place the pan on the oven rack directly above the pan of water. Bake for 55 minutes.
  9. While the cheesecake is baking, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and orange juice. Place in refrigerator.
  10. When the cheesecake is finished baking, remove from the oven and spread the sour cream mixture evenly on the top of the cheesecake. Bake another 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack.
  11. Let the cheesecake cool 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen the sides from the pan. Let the cheesecake cool for 2 hours on the wire rack, then place it in the refrigerator to chill completely.
  12. Loosen and remove the springform pan sides. Gently lift up the cheesecake and remove the parchment paper. Place the cheesecake on a serving plate.
  13. Use a piping bag and icing tip 1M to swirl Cool Whip around the top of the cheesecake. Top each swirl with a maraschino cherry or orange piece.

Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

Crust

  • 8 Oreo cookies with filling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Cheesecake

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ▢4 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate melted
  • 2 large eggs

Mousse

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 8-ounce container Cool Whip thawed

20 mini Oreo Cookies with Filling

Instructions

Place a large rimmed baking sheet onto the bottom rack of the oven. Fill halfway with waterPreheat the oven to 350° F. and line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Line 8 wells of a second cupcake pan with paper liners as well.

Crust

Place the Oreo cookies into a food processor and pulse until they become fine crumbs.

In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and the cookie crumbs. Evenly distribute the crumb mixture into the cupcake liners. Press the crumbs down firmly.

Cheesecake

In a mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. Scrape down the sides and add the sugar. Beat again until smooth.

Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat again until well incorporated.

Pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Fully incorporate the eggs and be sure to not overbeat the batter.

Evenly distribute the batter over the cookie crusts. Place the cupcake pans on the oven right directly above the tray full of water. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecakes in the pan for 10 minutes.

Gently remove the cheesecakes from the pan and place them on the wire rack. Cool for 1 hour and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until completely chilled.

Mousse

Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Scrape down the sides and add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

In a food processor, pulse the 7 regular size Oreos until they are crumbs.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold the Cool Whip into the cream cheese mixture. Then gently stir in the cookie crumbs.

Using a piping bag and a 1M icing tip, swirl the mousse onto the top of the cheesecakes. Top each one with a mini Oreo cookie.

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