Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cheesecake treats

Want to surprise your co-workers with a sweet Valentine treat next week?

This simple recipe for miniature cheesecakes makes a lot of pieces (five dozen) and takes very little time to put together.

I needed a lot of dessert for a Relay for Life fundraiser at my church and didn't want anything complicated -- just easy and delicious. I certainly chose the right recipe because in less than an hour, I had more than 60 little cheesecakes ready for someone to decorate.

There are a number of versions of this recipe, but I adapted the allrecipes.com version, and instead of using crushed vanilla wafers in the bottom of my miniature cupcake holders, I used a whole, bite-size vanilla wafer, flat side down. The vanilla wafers also come in a smaller mini size, depending on the brand. I used two 24-cup miniature muffin pans, and the bite-size cookies fit one pan just fine but were too big for the other pan -- go figure!

Anyway, if you have trouble getting them to fit, use 1/2 teaspoon crushed vanilla waters in the bottom of each miniature cupcake liner.

I made a double recipe for last weekend's event, and each time, I mixed miniature chocolate chips into about half of the batter to have a variety for my dessert tray. The chocolate chip variety was a hit with my family members who "sampled" the cheesecakes.

Because the fundraiser was a father/ daughter Valentine dinner, my daughter and I decorated the little cakes with a seasonal theme. I put pretty red cherries from a jar of cherry pie filling on many of them. On others, Anna arranged decorative sprinkles. She put them on soon after the cakes came out of the oven, before they completely cooled. The rest of our mini cheesecakes, including the ones with chocolate chips inside, got a drizzle of the chocolate glaze we use on so many desserts.

Be creative when you decorate your cheesecakes. Blueberry topping would be so good on these little bize-size desserts, or even crumbled vanilla wafers, fresh strawberries, caramel sauce or chopped nuts. And if you choose several toppings, your dessert platter will be even more appealing.

You can also be creative with the cheesecake itself. For instance, use almond extract instead of vanilla or stir some lemon zest into the batter.

It's always nice to find a go-to recipe. The next time someone needs many dessert pieces, I will certainly volunteer to make this easy recipe.

Mini Cheesecakes
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers (regular size crushed or whole bite-size or mini)
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line miniature muffin tins with miniature paper liners.

Place bite-size or mini vanilla wafer, flat side down, into paper liner or crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until all of the lumps are gone and mixture is smooth. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top. I used my miniature muffin scoop.

Bake for 15 minutes. Cool.

Add desired topping.

Makes around 5 dozen.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Satin Chocolate Glaze
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour chocolate chips and butter into microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until chips are blended. Mix in honey and vanilla extract. Frost cake or cupcakes.

1 comment:

  1. I've always used the whole Nilla wafer too when making these. I've loved cheesecake cups since I was a kid and yours look delicious. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your cheesecakes up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-4.html