Yummy note: This last weekend, I went strawberry picking with the family. My daughter, Alicia, loved it. At the end of our picking adventure, the first thing she requested to do with them was to make strawberry cheesecake. After I told her about how we were going to make the strawberry cheesecake it became more prominent that she just wanted plain cheesecake with whipped cream and the strawberries to be on top, not in it... So we went a different route. We decided that it must be pretty, I mean what else does a 5 year old sous chef want?! So why not celebrate the 4th of July with some festive looking cheesecakes! They are just adorable and gave us a great excuse to try out our new Babycakes Mini Cupcake Maker. Note: we doubled the original recipe found here so feel free to cut back if you want a smaller batch. Also, you do not need a cupcake maker to make these fun little treats, an oven works just fine. See notes below for baking times/temps.
2 packages cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 vanilla wafers
16 mini oreo cookies
fresh strawberries to top
Set the cream cheese out to soften ahead of time. When soft, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Next, add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Separate cream cheese filling into different bowls for coloring. We used 2 additional colors, (red and blue) but you can use whatever colors you'd like. Add in drops of food coloring to filling and stir until color is achieved.
Place a mini muffin/cupcake wrapper in each well of the cupcake maker or mini muffin pan. Place a vanilla wafer or a broken up mini oreo in the bottom of each cup. Spoon in about 2 tablespoons or about 3 heaping teaspoons of the cream cheese filling over your cookie crust. If you are using the cupcake maker, bake for about 6 to 7 minutes or until set. We did not preheat the cupcake maker for this. If baking cheesecakes in the oven, bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until set. Carefully remove each cheesecake and place on a rack to cool. Refrigerate cheesecakes until well chilled and enjoy! Eat plain, or top with whipped cream and strawberries. Makes about 32 mini cheesecakes.