Some people adore chocolate. In our house, that would be Bob! But I am all about fruit: strawberries, blueberries and, most especially, cherries.
That's one of the reasons I love serving these sweet little cheesecakes. They're topped with one of my favorite fruits. Those luscious cherries make these treats pretty enough to serve at parties. They're super easy to put together. And being bite-size, they help with portion control, letting you have a little dessert without ditching your diet. The only problem is eating just one!
To make these cherry-topped delights, you need eight ingredients. Neufchatel Cheese, reduced-fat vanilla wafers and lite cherry pie filling to help keep the calories down. Plus, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and muffin-tin liners. Pick up the foil ones for a Valentine's Day-perfect presentation.
You should be able to get everything at one place unless you're like us. Surprisingly, we had to make two stops to find one of the simplest things: vanilla wafers. Although it's my go-to for most things, Target or Tar-jay as we say in Colleywood doesn't carry them. Go figure.
Whipping up these treats is really quick and easy. Just be sure to think ahead. Give the cheese and eggs about half an hour to come to room temperature. Then toss everything except the vanilla wafers, pie filling and muffin-tin liners (duh!) into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat five minutes on high and then move on assembling the cheesecakes.
If you've got a small ice cream scoop, that's a breeze. You just fill muffin pans with the liners and put a vanilla wafer in each one. Using your scoop, spoon on enough batter to bring the liners to half full or so and bake 15-20 minutes.
After they cool completely on a wire rack, you're ready to top these tempting tidbits with pie filling before refrigerating. Just beware of doing the job with anyone like my step-brother Philip. He's known for eating cherry pie filling straight from the can.
And get ready for everyone to rave over these cheery, cherry-inspired creations never guessing they're also friendly to their waistlines. Imagine that!
Preheat oven to 350°.
Let cheese and eggs come to room temperature.
Combine cheese, sugar, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla. Beat 5 minutes on high speed with a hand or stand mixer.
Place muffin tin liners in muffin pans. Put 1 vanilla wafer in each liner. Top with enough cheesecake batter to fill liner halfway.
Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until set. Cool.
Top each cheesecake with about 1 tablespoon cherry pie filling (2 - 3 cherries). Refrigerate.
Variation: Replace light cherry pie filling with light blueberry or strawberry pie filling.
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