Aunt Margie’s Mini Cherry Cheesecake Recipe
I don’t know about you, but I’m juuuuuuuust about Holiday’d out. With 8 nights of Hanukkah, at least a half a dozen Holiday party invites, AND (last, and certainly not least on the “Oy vey, I’m tired already” list) 3 weeks of school vacation looming, I’m cooked. Done. Ready to ring in those resolutions and start the “when is it gonna be spring?!” whine. The end of the year is ex-haust-ing. And I haven’t stopped eating. Hello, leggings.
With all the festivities, especially the invites to parties in which I’ve offered to bring something, I’ve decided it’s best if I stick to one thing that tastes delicious, is relatively easy to make (ahead of time) and looks the part, so to speak (red, colorful, etc). Meet Aunt Margie’s Mini Cherry Cheesecakes. Aunt Margie, my great aunt (and Nana’s sister…. So it’s no wonder she was an amazing chef too), mastered the mini cherry cheesecake and it’s now a favorite family dessert. Bite sized, these little babies pack a big punch and look sooo much fancier than they actually are.
Just ignore the part about the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and more butter. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. You can focus on getting in shape next year. What’s done is done. And Santa has certainly decided who has been naughty, nice, and overindulgent. Enjoy!
Aunt Margie’s Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
Makes Approximately 36 to 48
Preheat Oven to 325º
1 ¼ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ lb Unsalted Butter (one stick) Melted and Cooled
¼ Cup Sugar
12 oz (1 ½ - 8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Do not use reduced fat). Softened/Room Temperature
2 Large Eggs
½ Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 of a Lemon, Juiced
15 oz Can Cherry Pie Filling
Mix Graham Cracker Crumbs, Sugar and Melted Butter together. Line mini muffin pans with mini paper liners. Fill each cup with approximately 1 teaspoon crust crumbs and press into bottom and sides. Then refrigerate while preparing filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (KitchenAid) fitted with paddle attachment, mix softened cream cheese and add sugar slowly while mixer is running. Break eggs one at a time into a small bowl and add one at a time into the cheese mixture while mixer is running . Add vanilla and mix, followed by the juice of ½ lemon and mix. Remove crust filled pans from refrigerator. Using a tablespoon measure fill each cup.
Bake on middle rack for 18 to 20 minutes . Remove cheesecakes from pan and cool on rack.
When fully cooled. Open canned cherry pie filling and top each mini cheese cake with one whole cherry.
Refrigerate until serving. Can be made 1 day ahead of serving.