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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pretty Simplicity: Easy Mini Cheesecakes

 Mini Cheesecakes with Fresh Fruit
Easy Simplicity:  Easy Mini Cheesecakes
by Victoria Challancin

As much as the Mexican cooks that I teach each week love to make complicated "fancy" desserts, they are always thrilled when we prepare something that is easy and fast to make.  And when it is as pretty as these little beauties, well, it's an added bonus.  Because many of them have other duties connected with their work besides just cooking, labor-intensive recipes are difficult to manage, whereas these mini cheesecakes can be whipped up in no time.

The "crust" of these cheesecakes are purchased cookies.  Although the original recipe calls for Vanilla Wafers, any flat, wafer-like cookie works.  In fact, we made a couple of them using half of an Oreo, without the filling, of course.  I thought they were a bit small, but still, they could be a possible option.

The filling is simplicity itself:  a couple of packages of cream cheese, a couple of eggs, some flavoring--and that's it!  Could it be any easier?  Of course, the question remains, "Do they taste good?"  Absolutely!  Can they be made in advance?  Yes.  Are the ingredients readily available?  You bet.  What's not to appreciate?


Cook's Notes:  This recipe actually made about 16 mini cheesecakes, filling them 2/3 full as directed.  I used individual silicon cupcake baking molds for the extras.  Here in San Miguel, we can't easily find Nabisco's Vanilla Wafers, but we do have a Mexican stand-by called Marias, which worked perfectly and were the exact size of the bottom of the muffin tin.

Recipe:  Easy Mini Cheesecakes

2 packages (8-oz/227g each) cream cheese, softened
23/ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
12 vanilla wafers or other cookie of choice
Fresh fruit as desired (kiwi, mango, berries, mint leaves...whatever is in season)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and extracts; beat well.

LIne 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.  Place a wafer in bottom of each muffin cup.  Spoon batter into each cup, filling 2/3 full.

Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until centers are almost set.  Cool in pan on wire rack.

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Serve topped with fruit.

Enjoy!

 Carmen, with recipes firmly tucked into her apron, decorating the cheesecakes

 Paula, a great pastry chef, decorating mini cheesecakes


Parting Shot
Market scene:  the dregs of fresh guacamole prepared in a molcajete

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.

Remember that recipes are always meant to be shared, but please ask before using photographs or text.  Thanks!


11 comments:

Hotly Spiced said...

This individual cupcakes look so pretty. I love how you've decorated them with a variety of different coloured fruits and berries. Wonderful how the base is just a biscuit! I imagine these would be perfect for parties xx

Eha said...

These truly are pretty! And that comes from a person definitely not famous for baking :D !

tania@mykitchenstories said...

Hey, I love them. Simple but delicious.... fruit and cheesecake.. how can you go wrong

Ben said...

I love this recipe! Simplicity is a lot of times the way to go. Let's make a deal, you come to DF to visit the markets and street food vendors with me and you give me a batch of this beauties, hehe.

Flavors of the Sun said...

Sounds like a deal to me, Ben!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They look so simple indeed! Perfect for when guests come over :D

Lynne said...

We love these little jewels! The fresh fruit topping looks awesome. I have used the tinned cherry pie filling, but with spring here and summer on the way, fresh fruit is the best way to go. Thanks for your comments.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

You just brought back memories of home. My mother never made desserts but she used to make these mimi cheesecakes for Thanksgiving. She would add a dollop of sour cream to the top before baking.

f said...

I love the idea of the sour cream on top, Karen. I have topped regular cheesecake with slightly sweetened sour cream before, so of course it makes sense. I'll note that before making them again--and I surely will make them again!

Karen said...

My mom used to make these.

Yvette ~ Muy Bueno Cookbook said...

OH YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the simplicity of these beauties. Reminds me of a tempting treat you'd see at a nice resort in Mexico. I will definitely be giving these a try. PLUS they are portion controlled which is what I need when it comes to dessert. LOL!