Mini Cheesecakes with Vanilla Wafer Crust


I made these for Father's Day this past Sunday... this is definitely the BEST thing I've made yet, imo!  Yes, even better than those cake balls I made a while back.  I have to say, I'm pretty darn proud of myself for this one.  I've never made cheesecake before so I wasn't sure how they would turn out, but they turned out amazing!  These would be good for just about anything - pot lucks, wedding or baby showers, parties, or just because.  They're great because they're already in single servings and the fun part is that you can top them with whatever you want!  And I'm pretty certain that the crust is my favorite part.. I almost forgot how good vanilla wafers were!

Alright, let's do this... preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Now, the crust:
  •  Foil cupcake liners
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (it would be fun for kids to help out with this part, put in a ziplock bag and roll over with a rolling pin)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (just for fun!)

Mix together, and press in each cupcake liner to make a small crust for your cheesecakes!  Bake them at 375 for about 7 or 8 minutes.  This would be great for a full sized crust for your favorite pie, too!

  • 2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together, then spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of the mix into each cupcake liner, over the crust.  You'll want it to be fairly full because they will sink down once they cool.  Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes (stick it with a toothpick.. if it comes out clean, they're done).  When they're done, put them on a cooling rack to cool completely.  They'll sink down in the center - perfectly normal, and good for putting in a filling!  I suggest to chill in the fridge for a few hours before topping and serving them. 

You can be creative and top them with whatever you want:  chocolate, caramel, turtle topping, cherry, blueberry, sweetened whip cream and strawberries, canned pie filling, fresh fruit... totally your choice.  I did half of mine with cherry pie filling and the other half with chocolate ganache and strawberries.  MMM!

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