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
(Recipe from McCormick's Spice Company)
2 packages (8-oz/227g each) cream cheese, softened
23/ cup sugar
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.
Carmen, with recipes firmly tucked into her apron, decorating the cheesecakes
Paula, a great pastry chef, decorating mini cheesecakes
Market scene: the dregs of fresh guacamole prepared in a molcajete
©Victoria Challancin. All Rights Reserved.
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