This is another recipe from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. Book #8 is called The Cherry Cheesecake Murder, and the book contains recipes for both a large cherry cheesecake and miniatures. My husband loves both cherries and cheesecake, so I had to make him one of them! The mini cheesecakes are very easy to make, very cute, and very yummy. He brought them to work when he started a new job and said everyone liked them. In the future, I'd like to experiment with making a graham cracker based crumb crust for the cheesecakes instead of using whole Nilla wafers, but the wafers are nice, too. I think they've shrunk in recent years though because they don't cover the entire bottom of the cupcake papers.
Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
24 Nilla Wafer cookies
can cherry pie filling (you won't need the whole thing)
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tins with cupcake papers. Place one Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each cupcake paper, flat side down. Set aside.
Mix together cream cheese and sugar until well combined, then beat in eggs. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla extract until mixture is completely smooth. Divide evenly among the cupcake tins. The papers won't be super full, but they will puff up some when baked. Bake cheesecakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the refrigerator, then before serving, top each mini cheesecake with 3 cherries from the can of cherry pie filling. The topped mini cheesecakes will stay good in the refrigerator for several days.