Election Day Easy Cheesecake Bites

It’s Election Day! We’re voting today.Every vote counts as we elect a new President. Regardless of whomever you favor; I’m relieved that the rhetoric will be over.  For a special election day tribute, I’m making Easy Cheesecake Bites. These individual mini-cheesecakes are absolutely delicious. The are simple and easy to make; a great dessert for a celebration, party, buffet or wedding reception.easy-cheesecake-bites-img_1985Let’s Vote!

I’ve been voting for as long as I can remember. Our parents towed us along to the town hall to vote when we were very young in the small town of Bridgewater, Virginia. They always stressed the importance of voting and the experience made a lasting impression although as a small child it was rather intimidating. The Kennedy-Johnson party ticket was one of the first elections that I remember. Years ago, the ballot was a very long paper ballot; I believe that you sat at a table and filled the ballot out and actually put it in a ballot box. Those days are gone as technology has changed elections!
easy-cheesecake-bites-img_2006

I also thought that everyone was a Democrat because my parents voted a straight party ticket. In high school I discovered that this premise was incorrect. We lived in a very conservative area of Virginia and a mock high school election showed that there were only a hand full of Democrats in the school. What a jolt.

Easy Cheesecake Bites

For fun, I’m making Easy Cheesecake Bites. The recipe is adapted from my sister-in-law who brought Easy Mini Cheesecakes  to our “do it yourself” wedding reception years ago. I loved the Mini Cheesecakes which were baked in cupcake or muffin tins and have made them for many occasions including a covered dish supper last night. Yesterday I used mini-muffin tins for the cheesecake bites. I’ll freeze the left over individual cheesecakes for Thanksgiving. Both the adapted recipe and original one are included in this blog post.decorated-easy-cheesecake-bites-img_1961

Making the Surprisingly Easy Recipe

The recipe is surprisingly quick and easy to make. My sister-in-law, Vicki, wrote down detailed instructions which takes the guess work out of making the cheesecakes bites. They turn out perfect if you follow along. I’d do a few things differently next time which I’ve shown.

Here are the ingredients for the crust. I used gingersnaps because someone had given me this tin rather than graham crackers for the crust; both taste fine. These cookies contained pepper which gives them an after-bite. I wouldn’t repeat this–use another brand of gingersnaps.ingredients-for-crustTo crush the cookies (graham crackers or gingersnaps), Vicki places them in a Ziplock ban and uses a rolling pin. I used a heavy, marble rolling pin– a favorite kitchen gadget. The weight of the rolling pin makes crushing the cookies much easier.crushing-crumbs-with-marble-rolling-pin-img_1856

Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted margarine or butter in a bowl. Vicki suggests that you add the melted butter or margarine sparingly, a few tablespoons at a time. Sometimes the cracker crumbs are more or less adsorbent. You don’t want them too wet, just well-coated. I didn’t  follow this advise and mine turned out too moist — the crumbs stuck together. Here’s a second batch with less margarine.crust-img_1862

I discovered that the culprit was the margarine. In a shopping hurry, I picked up an “inexpensive” brand. Now I see that the ingredient label shows that it is only 53% oil. What’s the second ingredient? Water. This is actually labeled as margarine spread. It may be low in calories but it is not good for making a crumb crust. Next time I’ll use another brand!margarine-spread

Put 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the bottom of each miniature foil cup liner. My recipe makes 24 cheesecake bites. Press down with the bottom of a shot glass, medicine bottle or small spice bottle lid.crust-in-mini-muffin-pans-leveling-crush-img_1848

Here are the filling ingredients and toppings. There are only 4 ingredients for the cheesecake bite filling: cream cheese, an egg, sugar and vanilla extract.ingredients-for-filling-and-topping-img_1849

Mix filling ingredients thoroughly with a mixer on high speed until creamy and smooth.beating-filling-ingredients-until-smooth-img_1858

Pour some of the mixture into each foil-lined liner, making them full. i used two spoons to portion out the filling. The filling is exactly enough for 24 mini cheesecakes.cheesecake-batter-in-mini-miffin-tins-img_1900

Place the two miniature muffin tins on a cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated 375 degrees oven. Bake 10 minutes. Vicki warns that the cheesecakes will NOT brown and they will look and feel NOT DONE.baked-mini-cheeseckae-bites-img_1906

Cool on racks. The mini cheesecakes will deflate to the level of the liner.baked-and-cooled-crust-img_1921

Refrigerate or freeze. For the covered dish supper last night, I decorated with blueberry pie filling and Maraschino cherries. Pour pie filling into a bowl so that it is easier to spoon out a whole berry. Vicki comments that these store well in envelope boxes. And they are delicious! Now let’s go vote.election-day-easy-cheesecake-bites-img_1998

Easy Cheesecake Bites by MayleesKitchen

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (4 oz gingersnaps)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 to 6 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
  • 24 foil-lined miniature cupcake liners

Method and Steps for Crust:

  1. Place gingersnaps into a large Ziplock bag. Use heavy rolling pin to crush the gingersnaps finely.
  2. Place cookie crumbs and sugar into a bowl. Add 3 Tbsp melted butter or margarine and stir with a fork to coat. If needed add the remaining 3 Tbsp butter or margarine. You don’t want the crumbs too wet, just well coated.
  3. Line 24 miniature muffin tins with foil-lined miniature cupcake liners. Put 2 tsp of the crumb crust in the bottom of each liner and press down with a small lid, such as a herb container lid.

Ingredients for Filling and Toppings:

  • 1-8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 heaping cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 Maraschino cherries
  • 1 can Comstock blueberry pie filling

Method and Steps for Filling:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla extract in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat thoroughly on high speed until creamy and smooth.
  3. Pour one heaping teaspoon filling into each liner, making them full.
  4. Place muffin tins on cookie sheet and bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. They will NOT brown and they will look and feel NOT DONE.
  5. Cool on racks. Refrigerate or freeze.
  6. When ready to serve, place a Maraschino cherry or small dollop of blueberry pie filling on top of each mini-cheesecake. Pour pie filling into bowl so it’s easier to spoon out a whole berry.

Easy Mini Cheesecakes by Vicki Levy and Michael Maas

  • Servings: approx 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (I double or triple this amount)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 to 6 Tbsp melted butter or margarine
  • approx 24 – 2″ foil-lined cupcake liners (1-1/2″ liners are okay, too)

Method and Steps for Crust:

  1. Break graham crackers apart and place into a large Ziplock bag. Use heavy rolling pin to crush the graham crackers finely.
  2. Place crumbs, sugar  and cinnamon into a bowl. Add 3 Tbsp melted butter or margarine and stir with a fork to coat. If needed add the remaining 3 Tbsp butter or margarine. You don’t want the crumbs too wet, just well coated.
  3. Line cupcake pans with foil-lined cupcake liners. Put a tablespoon, or so, of the mixture in bottom of each liner and press down with a shot glass or medicine bottle.

Ingredients for Filling and Toppings:

  • 3-8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can Comstock cherry pie filling

Method and Steps for Filling:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla extract in medium bowl of electric mixer. Beat thoroughly on high speed until creamy and smooth.
  3. Pour some into each liner, making them full.
  4. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. They will NOT brown and they will look and feel NOT DONE.
  5. Cool on racks. Refrigerate or freeze.
  6. When ready to serve, place one cherry with a small dollop of cherry pie filling on top of each mini-cheesecake. Pour pie filling into bowl so it’s easier to spoon out a whole berry.
  7. These store well in envelope boxes.

decorated-easy-cheesecake-bites-img_1961

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