Cheesecakes have been around since ancient Greece. It was adopted by the Romans and as they conquered Europe, cheesecakes came along for the ride. In 1929 Arnold Reuben served the dessert in his restaurant Turf and the New York style cheesecake was introduced to the world. In 2021, national cheesecake day is celebrated on July 30. It is unknown how or when this event was first introduced, but it is certainly a good excuse to enjoy this tasty dessert.
For this version, we will use the mini muffin size tin, that has wells that are about 1 ½ inches by 1 inch. This will make one-bite wonders that will look impressive to your guests. Using liners that are seasonal in color or design will add some flair. Muffin tins come in three sizes, standard, large or jumbo, and mini to give you some reference when you are shopping.
Graham cracker crumbs
16 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs separated
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tsp vanilla
Maraschino cherries, optional
Fill the bottom of each liner with about 1/8 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs.
For the base layer combine cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar and egg yolks and mix well. Separately beat the egg whites and then fold into the mixture.
For the top layer combine sour cream, balance of sugar and vanilla and mix well.
Spoon in the base layer to about ½ to ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Dab on the top layer. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pans, add half a maraschino cherry and allow to cool thoroughly. Refrigerate or freeze.
Makes between 3 and 6 dozen depending on how high each layer is filled.