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I saw this recipe a few years ago on The Chew.  They looked delicious and a lot less intimidating than making a whole cheesecake.  No leaky springform pan or bain-marie just a mini muffin tin with paper or foil liners.  The original recipe lists the servings as “over 12” so I wasn’t sure how many to make for Easter that year.  I decided to increase by half and ended up with a lot of cheesecake (I didn’t write down the exact number).  Thankfully they freeze well.  This weekend is my nieces high school graduation party.  We’re a BIG dessert family so in addition to cake, lemon bars and brownies I offered to make mini cheesecakes, glazed lemon cookies and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  I doubled the recipe and made 103 cakes!  It would have made a few more but I ran out of crust so 24 crustless cakes took more filling.  Speaking of crust, the original recipe calls for a graham cracker crust but I prefer a shortbread crust.  While you could certainly pick up a box of shortbread at the store I encourage you to try the recipe I use.  You can make the shortbread for the crust up to 5 days in advance.  I made it the same day and wished I would have let it cool longer before crushing into crumbs.  I also probably wouldn’t have run out if I had been able to resist eating it.

Here is the link to the recipe: Cooking Light – Vanilla Bean Shortbread.  I only make two changes: use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in place of bean (expensive!) and cook in a glass 9×13 dish eliminating the need for lining the pan with foil.  After cookies cool completely, cut into squares and process into crumbs (use a food processor or a zip top bag and rolling pin).

Carla Hall’s Mini Cheesecakes – Double Recipe, serves “over 50” assuming two per serving

Please take out your cold ingredients at least 30 minutes prior to allow enough time to come to room temp.  This will make a huge difference in the texture of the cheesecake.  You can cut the cream cheese into smaller chunks to speed up the process.

  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1 cup sour cream, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place liners into muffin tin and press 1 tsp of crumbs into the bottom of each.

In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Blend in milk.  Mix in eggs, one at a time, just enough to incorporate.  Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.  Transfer filling to measuring cup – this makes filling the cups much easier and cleaner.  Pour filling into prepared cups.  Fill to just below the top of the liner.  Bake 10 – 15 minutes.  *DO NOT OVER BAKE*  When done they will be puffy and jiggle a little.  Cooks Illustrated notes the perfect temperature for cheesecake is 150°F.  In my oven 10 minutes was perfect, 12 minutes was too long resulting in sunken (but still delicious) cheesecakes. Allow to cool in pan a few minutes then, carefully, remove to cooling rack.  Cool to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

I allowed them to cool for over an hour and then placed in large zip top freezer bags and placed directly in the freezer.  Take out of freezer 30 minutes prior to serving.