August 22, 2012 | Desserts
You might recall that some time ago I did one of those Tastebook cookbooks to gather together all of my mom’s, her friends, and our relatives recipes into one printed place. Well, like the rest of my cookbook collection, I added that to the shelf and am not sure I’ve opened it since I made it nearly two years ago. That is, until this week. I’ve been hired to create 300 desserts for a local organization’s annual gathering this week and they needed something that can be eaten without a plate and fork, but that was a little more special than a cookie. And immediately I thought of the cheesecake tart recipe in the book.The recipe actually came from Mrs. Warmkessel, the mom of one of my sorority sisters and roommates in college, and my own mom fell in love with this recipe for the simplicity of serving it to a large crowd. It couldn’t be easier, really. You start by lining muffin tins with paper liners and place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each one to form the “crust”.Next the batter goes into the liners. Can you see the very small lumps of cream cheese in this whipped batter? That’s because my cream cheese was cold when I made the recipe. It will still cook fine and taste great, but if you want a really smooth texture, bring the cream cheese to room temp before proceeding.The tarts only take 15 minutes to bake, and will come out of the oven puffed up like this. As they cool (which happens pretty quickly), they will fall in the center, leaving a perfect little well for adding the fruit topping.Cool them completely before adding the topping and then refrigerate or freeze. I like to keep them in the muffin pans until chilled or frozen so they maintain their shape better. I used cherry pie filling for my topping, but look for a brand that says “more fruit” so that you get enough cherries, not just all thick cherry gel. You can use any flavor fruit topping you like, and can top with fresh fruit as well, although I’d do that right before serving. Hope you enjoy these – thanks Mrs. Warmkessel!
- 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 36 vanilla wafers
- Canned or fresh fruit for topping
- Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium high until very fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. While mixer is running, line muffin tins (36 total) with paper liners and place a vanilla wafer on the bottom of each. Use a 1.5 ounce ice cream scoop to portion filling into each muffin liner. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tins, then top with fruit topping and refrigerate or freeze.