2006-11-23 / Personalities

Bite-Size Cheesecakes a Party Pleaser

(MS) - In many households, cheesecake is a mainstay of holiday entertaining. Families may even compete as to who boasts the best recipe.

Whether you prefer extra creamy cheesecake, Italian style with ricotta inside, blueberry versus strawberry fruit topping, or any of the dozens of other cheesecake varieties, you may recognize that cheesecake is not the easiest of desserts to make. Plus, it is a rich dessert, which can sit heavily in your stomach if you overindulge.

For those looking for a cheesecake recipe that's no-fuss, but still delicious, try these individual cheesecakes that bake in 15 minutes. Vanilla wafers form the "crust" of these cheesecakes, eliminating the need to crush and pack down graham crackers as is the case with most cheesecake recipes.
  CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES
          Makes 12 cupcakes
2   8-ounce packages cream cheese
(can use reduced-fat varieties if de

sired), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 vanilla wafer cookies
Topping of your choice (cherry,
blueberry or pineapple pie filling)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Fill a cupcake pan with foil or paper cupcake liners.

Blend the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer until smooth.

Place one vanilla wafer in each cupcake liner to form the crust of the cheesecake. Spoon cheesecake batter into each cupcake, leaving a little room for the cupcake to rise while baking.

Place pan in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cheesecakes are lightly golden.

Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Top each cheesecake with topping of choice and let chill in the refrigerator until serving time.

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