Cooking On A Budget: Quick and Easy: Cream Cheese Tarts

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Quick and Easy: Cream Cheese Tarts

Yum
Originally made for a holiday gathering back in December of 2013, these Quick and Easy Cream Cheese Tarts are perfect for any gathering throughout the year.

Today is the Preakness which is the second race for three-year-olds held at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore. It's the second race of the Triple Crown. I thought it would be fitting to make this "crowned" jewel of a dessert to enjoy before the race begins.
A club we belong to of not-so-fancy folks, we love to gather together for food and drink and watch the races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the last race, the Belmont. Some are die hard horse racing fans who bet money and really get into knowing the horses, trainers and riders. Me, well if I do bet I usually go for either the long shot or a horse with a name I like. I think I've bet on the horses once in my life.

Quick and Easy Cream Cheese Tarts are not my brain child. It's a recipe I gathered back in 2013 from Paula Deen. Funny that the recipe is still on the Food Network despite the fact she got canned years ago. I made a couple of minor changes back then which included crumbling the wafers and adding cinnamon to ramp up the flavor. All else I kept the same. Although for this round I used strawberry filling instead of cherry. That was actually by mistake, I did not see the label correctly - however I was happy with it because strawberries are very much a part of summer desserts.



These little cream cheese tarts taste amazing. So easy to prepare and you have a wonderful dessert in no time at all!

  • 2 - 8 oz. bars cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box vanilla wafers or 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 - 15 oz. can cherries or canned blueberry pie filling
  • cupcake holders
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place a cupcake holder in each cup of a muffin tin.
  2. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat again. Then add half of the sugar and beat well and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining sugar and beat on high speed until incorporated, scraping the sides.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time beating after each addition.
  5. Place the wafers in a food processor and grind to tiny crumbs. Put the crumbs in a bowl with the cinnamon, then melt a stick of butter and add it to the crumbs. Mix well to combine.
  6. Take a coffee spoon and put a heaping amount of the crumbs in each cupcake holder. Pat down with your fingers.
  7. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the wafers - to go about 3/4 the way up. (I used a scoop.)
  8. Bake in a 350° oven for about 20-22 minutes. Allow the tarts to cool completely. They will fall a bit but that leaves room for some filling.
  9. Spoon on the cherry or blueberry or strawberry filling.
  10. Keep refrigerated until serving.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-22 minutes
Serves: 12
Cost: approximately $8.00, or 96¢ each

Whether you make these for the holidays or for any occasion, you are going to love how easy they are to make and how they taste like a mini cheesecake!



 

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