It's a new year, and I'm revving up for the many projects I'm anticipating for this year. It was a crazy holiday season for us. After Thanksgiving, we were slammed with order after order for the Christmas holiday, and oh my goodness, who knew that there were so many birthdays in December!

It was a lot of fun playing Santa's elves. The orders were backed up by about twelve per day! That's a lot of hand making when you're doing it to order. However, Cayla, my thirteen year old helper, whipped out the orders like a pro! She printed all of the orders out, assembled the materials, and went to work doing candle bases while Caniah, (my ten year old gal), whipped up numerous ornament batches for all of the prim cakes and pies that were ordered. If you could have only seen the mess that was made doing all of those rush orders. It was crazy! But it all worked out in the end when the customers had their cupcakes, pies and cookies for in time to wrap for Christmas gifts. That made us feel great.

In all of that work, we forgot to put up our Christmas tree! We were so busy that we forgot to put it up. So around mid December, we did finally get it up, and we just took it down yesterday. I guess you could say we made up for the time.

I don't want to make it sound like we were all work and no play. We did do some really cool things in the kitchen this holiday season. In fact, there was a point when it felt like baking was all I did. The girls and I made cookies, and these little mini cheesecakes. These aren't just good for the holidays, but anytime.


When we sat these on the table, the younger children were hesitant because they thought we'd made candles.
These were really good. I think I overindulged a bit, but then we all did. In total, we made about four dozen and all of them were gone! I suppose, with a family of twelve, 48 mini cheesecakes is nothing. I'd like to think that, at least. I think we were all so thrilled to have real dessert that these little cakes were gobbled up with the thought that it may be a long time awaiting before I'd make them again.  

Here's the recipe for these little critters. I've cut the size down to make 24 mini cheesecakes. If you need to make less, you can cut it in half and it will work fine. These are great to give as gifts because they're so easy to make.

Fruit Topped Mini Cheesecakes (24 cheesecakes)

Ingredients:
4 - 8 ounce packages of Neufchatel cream cheese
1  cup raw sugar
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
4 eggs
24 vanilla wafer type cookies
Muffin cup liners
Your choice of fruit topping (We used 1 can of cherry and 1 can of blueberry for 48!)

Mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with a mixer.

Add your eggs, one at a time, and then your vanilla.

Line your muffin pan with your muffin liners and place a wafer in the bottom of each.

Fill each liner to half full.

Bake on 350 degrees F for approximately 25 minutes (until the center is set - oven time may vary)

Allow these to cool off for a few hours and then top with your favorite fruit filling.

Voila!

Okay, so I actually was inspired to create a candle from these cheesecakes. Here's what I came up with:


What do you think?


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