I was charged with bringing a dessert to the in-laws' on Xmas day. I went with a slight twist on an old standby - cheesecake! This time I used the single serving "ready crusts", which come in packages of six. I made a double batch of my classic cheesecake recipe, which is SUPER easy and makes a dense, creamy cheesecake.
4 pkgs of cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Beat the cream cheese till fluffy (room temperature cream cheese works best). Add sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time until well mixed and creamy. Lumps will taste sour (in my opinion - I don't like cream cheese solo) so make sure it's smooth. I used a 1/4 cup scoop to fill each cup with slightly less than that - be sure to leave room for the cheesecake to rise while it cooks, or you'll have a mess.
I baked them at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until set. That's fairly arbitrary, but they puff up and get sort of solid when they are done, and then fall a little when they cool. Over cooking results in cracking, but you can cover that up with toppings pretty easy :) Voila! I think they look really pretty all cooling on the stove.
The double batch made 24 individual cheesecakes AND one slightly over-full "regular size" cheesecake.
I plan to top them with strawberries in heavy syrup, but prefer to wait to add the toppings until they are served. They'd look more sophisticated with thin slices of fresh strawberries, or a few fresh raspberries, but I really like the sugary syrup taste :)