Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mini Cheesecakes

For four years during college I waited tables at Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro. It was an exact knock-off of the Cheesecake Factory - huge menus, thousands of menu items, gaudy decor, and thick delicious cheesecakes in any flavor you could hope for. Fortunately for my waist line, I didn't eat cheesecake when I worked at the Cheesecake Bistro. I can't really explain it, but I just didn't like it. I worked there 5 times a week for four years and can honestly say that I never ate one single piece of their prize product. I didn't want to taste it, I didn't want to sneak a bite, and I didn't think about it when it wasn't around. Sadly, today I can't say the same. Somewhere between college graduation and the present my feelings for the creamy, cheesy sweetness changed. I still don't have much of a sweet tooth but I LOVE cheesecake. Well just like everything else I love to eat, I had to attempt to recreate it in my own kitchen. I have made homemade cheesecake before from scratch with my sister where we utilized the spring form pan, food processed graham cracker crust, ground nutmeg and a warm water bath. And although it was extremely delicious, it was also very time consuming and expensive. I recently stumbled upon the best recipe that takes no time at all and will provide me with a quick cheesecake fix when I am craving the splendid dessert.

Individual Cheesecakes
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

1 package Vanilla Wafers
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 24 cavity mini muffin tin with mini cup cake liners.

Place 1 Vanilla Wafer in the bottom of each cup cake liner.

Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way up. Bake in a 375 degree
oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on baking
rack, then chill in the refrigerator over night.
Then serve with the toppings of your choice.
(As you can see, I chose blueberries and raspberries this time)


Allie said...

I really look forward to viewing your blog everyday!! Just one question, why did you not cook like this when we were on Bear?

Elizabeth F. said...

Sorry Alice, I really don't know the answer to that one. But it sure would have been fun to have you guys there to taste my creations. And I know one thing for sure - IV would love my mini cheesecakes....just one more momma, just one more!

Lani T said...

These look great, and easy! I love bite-size desserts so I can satisfy my craving but not pig out =)

Lindsay said...

I am a friend of a friend of your husband's and I love your blog! Which surprises me, because I don't really cook, but the stories behind each of your recipes make the posts so interesting. I'm Italian too, so I understand/grew up around a love for all things food, I just don't quite have it. Yet.

Anyway - I tried these mini cheesecakes for my roommate and hit a bit of a roadblock. The vanilla wafers wouldn't fit in the cavities of the mini muffin tin I had, but in a normal size cavity, the vanilla wafer had too much room. I ended up doing 12 "big" cheesecakes (normal cupcake size) with the wafers and 24 "mini" cheesecakes which had a quick homemade crust (graham crackers + melted butter).

So my question is this: did you buy mini vanilla wafers and forget to tell us? Or is my mini muffin tin too mini?

Elizabeth F. said...

I am glad to hear you enjoy the blog! I am pretty sure that my mini muffin tin is standard size. It is from William Sonoma and is a 24 cavity size. I have made these twice in the last couple of months and both times purchased regular size Vanilla Wafers from two different stores. Once from Safeway and once from Sam's Club. They are indeed too small for the regular muffin tins but if you put them in the mini muffin tins round side (of the wafer) up and press gently in the center they "should" fit perfectly into the bottom of the cavity. It is a tight squeeze but once they are in there it is like they were made for each other. If that still doesn't work, maybe you have a smaller muffin tin than I do. When I want to make the regular size muffins I just put one wafer in the bottom and then crumble a few more up and sprinkle them in the gap. That works well too.

Gabriela said...

Just thought you'd like to know that I just made your mini cheesecakes and followed your recipe to a T. They came out perfect! and I had no trouble whatsoever inserting the vanila waffer at the bottom of the mini muffin pan. Thank you for the delectible recipe and superb instructions!

Tami said...

I just found your blog today and I must say that I'm really enjoying it. :) The little minis look so good!

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