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Monday Night Martha: Mini Cheesecakes

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We're bringing you Depression Era Dining Part Deux tonight with teeny faux cheesecakes. The recipe comes from Grandma Hernandez who was born during the Great Crash of 1929. The mini cakes are cheap to make and are beyond cute.

3 8oz. packages of cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
vanilla wafers (or Oreo cookies)
pie filling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then mix the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.

The cream cheese can be stiff and tough to beat. It'll help tremendously if you let it sit out on your counter for 30 minutes before you plan to use it. This step will also be a great deal easier if you have a Kitchen Aid or other large mixer. Beat until smooth.

Place wafer cookies in the bottom of a small muffin tin lined with muffin cups. For six of the cheesecakes, we used vanilla wafers, and for the other six, Oreo cookies. If you go with Oreos, twist the top off and scrape away the white filling first.

Only fill the muffin cups halfway with the cream cheese mix. Then bake.

Grandma's recipe calls for 15 minutes of oven time but our cheesecakes (which we filled too much) were still mushy and had to cook for another 15 minutes. Use the tried and trusted toothpick test to figure out when they're done cooking. The tops should just begin to look golden.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool for at least 30 minutes.

You'll notice the centers will cave in slightly but that's okay because that's where the filling goes. Use real pie filling or just jam or preserves to top the cheesecakes. We also used chocolate chips to top off the cakes with the Oreo base.

Refrigerate the cakes for at least an hour before serving.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.