I've actually never been a huge fan of cheesecake - maybe because I haven't ever liked dairy ::gasp!:: until about two years ago. This was the first time I have tried cheesecake since and perhaps its the perfect petite portion but these little squares were quite delectable! ((How certain am I? Lets just say they passed the ultimate taste and texture test :))
I bought a silicone baking tray (at Hobby Lobby) that makes 24 darling cheesecakes at a time. My review: Although the end product seemed to please, I envisioned these cheesecakes to be a bit thicker (with more of the actual cheesecake filling). I had planned on topping each of the cakes with an elegant frosted cherry but the cherry was nearly as big as the square and even a half was still too large. So, I created the cute checker-like presentation alternating cheesecake with cherry. (Worked out for the best. Turns out the people I made these for don't even like cherries! ::shocked!::)
This recipe makes about 28 of the 1.5 x 1.5 x .75 inch squares. I reduced the baking time to about 8-9 minutes since my tray made smaller pieces.
8oz. cream cheese, softened
1 t. vanilla
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 C. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. brown sugar (I used dark brown)
1/3 stick melted butter
Topping: Canned cherry pie filling - or like I suggested frosted cherries. you could also try drizzling them with caramel or chocolate.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with a fork until well combined.
3. Divide crumb mixture evenly between the 12 cups of your mini-cheesecake pan. Using your fingers (if you don’t have long nails!) press crumbs firmly onto the bottom and partially up the sides of each cup; set aside.
4. Using an electric mixer, blend softened cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar together in a medium bowl.
5. Spoon cream cheese mixture into each cup (they will only be half filled).
6. Bake for 14 minutes (remember to adjust baking time in accordance to the size of the cakes) in a preheated 375 degree oven.
7. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 20 minutes then carefully remove cheesecakes from pan and let cool completely.
8. Top with cherries and refrigerate until ready to serve.