Holiday Baking: Cheery Cheese Tassies

Who doesn’t love a good holiday cookie? For the next six weeks, we’re going to bring you some of our favorite recipes, and recipes from our chambanamoms contributors. We also asked all of our writers to share why these cookies are so important to them and how they fit into their families’ holiday traditions.

We will share these recipes every week on Monday, right up to Christmas Eve. If you have a recipe (and a story to go with it!) submit it here and we’ll publish it! photo

By Amy L. Hatch

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of watching and helping my mother bake Christmas cookies.

It was like a bonanza of treats: Chocolate crinkles, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, candy cane cookies, peanut-butter balls…the cookie jar overflowed with goodies. The house smelled wonderful and our collective sweet tooth was sated for the season.

As a grown-up and a busy mom of two, I now understand just how hard it is to get all that baking done. The days are tied up with work and chores, and the evenings get taken over by the machinery of dinner, homework, bath time and tuck-ins. Weekends fill up fast with errands that get shoved aside during the week to make room for after-school activities and conference calls.

But that doesn’t stop me. I love baking, it feels like therapy. So when I get out my mixer at 6:30 p.m., when the kids smell sweet from their baths and are winding down for the night, that’s my favorite part of Christmas. They gather around me, eager for the cookies to come out of the oven and I hope very much that they take those moments with them as adults.

One of my favorite holiday cookies made by my mother are these yummy mini cheesecakes. I love the play on words (cheery/cherry) and the fact that these are possibly the easiest and least time-consuming cookie ever. But they look much more complicated than they are, which in turn makes you look like Martha Stewart Jr. I hope you enjoy them!

Cheery Cheese Tassies

1 pound softened cream cheese
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 box of  mini Nilla Wafers
1 can of cherry pie filling.

Combine cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix at high speed for 5 minutes. Place a Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each midget muffin cup. Add one tablespoon of cheese mixture to each. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. cool throughly. Place a cherry atop of each one. These freeze beautifully.

Notes: You can make these in regular sized muffin cups, as well, with regular-sized Nilla Wafers. You will need to adjust the baking time. If freezing, do not top with cherry. Freeze plain cakes and top after they thaw. They look better that way.

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