One of my favorite cookbooks is Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It was written in 1990, but it is still available here:
The cheesecake recipe is delicious and best of all they will keep for a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
(2 ) – 1 1/3 inch by 1 inch mini-muffin pans sprayed with non-stick vegetable cooking spray, teaspoon, baking sheets
Place 2 oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. (Normally I just place the two mini muffin pans on one baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven. turning once after 5 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and butter until evenly mixed. Spoon two rounded teaspoons into the mini-muffin tin depressions that have been sprayed with Pam. Press into the bottoms and up the sides.
Food Processor Method (This is the method I use)
In a food processor with the metal blade, process the cream cheese and sugar for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Add the egg and pulse in. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice and process for a few seconds or until uniformly mixed.
Electric Mixer Method
Soften the cream cheese. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar about 3 minutes until very smooth, preferably with the whisk beater. Beat in the egg, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat until incorporated. Add sour cream and beat just until the mixture is blended.
For Both Methods
Fill each graham cracker- lined depression cup almost to the top with the batter, using a spoon or a reclosable quart-size freezer bag with a corner cut off.
Set the mini muffing pans on the baking sheets in the oven. Bake for ten minutes. For even baking, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking period. The cakes will puff up but deflate on cooling, leaving shallow hollows perfect for filling with toppings.
Cool completely in the pans on wire racks. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Lemon Curd Topping
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
salt – pinch
2 teaspoons of lemon zest, finely grated
Have a strainer, suspended over a bowl, ready near the range.
In a heavy noncorrodible saucepan, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the lemon zest. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 4 minutes, until thickened and resembling a thin hollandaise sauce, which thickly coats a wooden spoon, but is still liquid enough to pour (A candy thermometer will read 196F) The mixture will change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on a yellow color on the back of a wooden spoon. It must not be allowed to boil or it will curdle. (It will steam above 140F. Whenever steam occurs, remove the pan briefly from the heat to prevent boiling.)
When the curd has thickened, pour it at once into the strainer. Press it with the back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue. Stir in the lemon zest.
Spoon 1 level measuring teaspoon of lemon curd onto each little cheesecake.
To Unmold the Chilled Cheesecakes
To unmold, fill the sink with a few inches of hot tap water. Carefully dip each pan into the water for about 30 seconds, being careful to not let the water get to the top
of the pan. Use a small metal spatula to slip in between the sides of the cakes and the pan to pop out the cakes. There is no need to run the
spatula around the sides; the hot water makes unmolding easy.
Store: In an airtight container in the refrigerator.