Who loves cheesecake? Who hates how long it takes for one to bake and then chill? (Are you noticing an impatient streak in my cooking?) The solution is to make individual ones that cook up in a jiffy and chill just as quickly. TIP: When you need to chill something, pop it in the freezer to cut down on chilling time. Just don't forget and come back tomorrow to a rock-hard baked good.
This cheesecake won a prize at a cookoff in Iowa, but alas, I have no photos. Hey, if you can't visualize little cheesecakes you have a problem far greater than needing to cook in a hurry.
But here's what makes these even more fantabulous: They have a crust made from gingersnaps instead of graham crackers. AND they have the zing of lemon. Or you can substitute lime and call them Key Lime Ginger Cheesecakes. You do realize that this is happening all over the world, right? People are calling things Key Lime and they've never even seen a real lime from Key West (they're a bit yellower). Whatever. The truth is that Meyer Lemons are also a zillion times better than regular lemons, but if you live where you can't get them, don't sweat it. Just use any lemon or any lime. I'm telling you, this recipe will come out SCRUMPTIOUS regardless. And it's super easy-- complicated recipes rarely win contests, so you can count on me to save you ingredients and steps whenever I can. Here we go:
1 Cup gingersnap crumbs (make these in your blender or food processor)
1/4 Cup melted butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
curls of lemon rind for garnish, optional
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 18 muffin tin cups with cupcake papers. Mix gingersnap crumbs with butter and brown sugar, and press into bottoms of papers. (Not up the sides). Do not bake (yay!)
2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and rind. Beat thoroughly. Pour onto crusts. Bake 20 minutes, cool, then chill. Top with curls of lemon rind.
I'm not going to tell you how many this makes because you should have been paying attention. Serve them after dinner to your delighted guests, and keep some in the fridge for tomorrow and the next day, if you can hide them from your kids. Good luck with that.