Community Cookbook

Fairport Harbor Public Library is compiling a collection of your favorite recipes for holiday celebrations. These submissions will be collected here for all to enjoy. Submit as many entries as you like.

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11/19/2020 from Kara Cervelli (FHPL Director)

Mom’s Mini Cheesecakes

My mom made these for every holiday and any big gathering or bake sale.  As a child, I was always in charge of crushing the cookies and filling the paper cups with the crumbs.  I also loved putting the cherries on the top.  All sidebar tips are things I learned along the way from Mom.

Prep time : 30 minutes
Cook time :  15 minutes
Total time : 45 minutes
Servings:   48 mini cheesecakes

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers  (Oreos or graham crackers are good too)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese – full fat blocks and softened to room temperature to blend up
moothly and so you don’t have lumps.
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling  (or other favorite flavor) –  ½ a maraschino cherry works well too


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniature muffin tins (Mom always called these “tassie pans”) with miniature paper liners.
  2. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.  (Mom always used a prescription medicine bottle for tamping the crumbs down in the paper cup – a copy of the recipe was stored inside)
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  
    • Use a good hand or stand mixer for smooth creamy cheesecake.
    • DON’T OVER MIX THE BATTER OR MIX ON TOO HIGH SPEED. Both over mixing and mixing on a high speed add more air to a batter. Too much air in a cheesecake can cause cracks
    • If your cream cheese isn’t soft enough, you’ll have to mix things more to get out the lumps. So again, be sure it’s nice and soft.
    • Add the eggs in last and beat just until combined. The longer you mix the eggs, the more air you incorporate into the batter.
  4. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
    • DON’T OPEN THE OVEN.  If you open up the oven during baking, you’ll let out all the good hot, steamy air and possibly cause the cheesecake to fall in the middle or bake unevenly.
    • DON’T OVER BAKE.  Over baking a cheesecake can lead to cracks.  You’ll know the cheesecake has baked enough when the edges of the cheesecake are well set and the center is set but still just a bit jiggly.
  6. Cool slowly in turned off oven or on the counter.
  7. When completely cooled, top with a teaspoonful of pie filling
  8. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

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