This is seriously one of the BEST dessert recipes I ever have. The kind that your Grandma would give you in her best handwriting, old and faded by time’s unwearying touch, as you quietly slip it into the old family cookbook, and hold it to your chest to treasure it for years to come. The recipe that brings back the nostalgia of your childhood, coming inside from mud and play to see mom pulling them out of the oven, and inhaling deep that divine goodness that tickles your nose and seeps into your then young, curious mind, back in those days when it never took much to make you happy.
Who doesn’t want that kind of recipe, honestly?
So, behold, my dearest friend, I bestow upon thee the golden recipe that which shall rock thine world.
Not to be dramatic or anything ::grin, wink::
the cast of characters–
-> 1 large box of nilla wafers
-> 3 eggs
-> 1 tsp vanilla
-> 1 lb cream cheese
-> 1/2 cup (granulated) sugar
-> canned/homemade pie filling (you can NEVER go wrong with cherry, but you can also use lemon, raspberry, blueberry, marionberry, etc.)
-> optional: whipped cream for garnish + for more sugar you don’t need, haha 😉
1) Put on a cute apron (if you are a girl, of course).
2) Preheat your oven to (*gasp* can you guess?!) 350 degrees F.
3) Line muffin tins with two cupcake liners each and center the nilla wafers on the bottom, like so…
Now, this is when you awaken that little perfectionist in you that I know you all have and make these gorgeous. This recipe does not require a whole lot of effort over all, so channel a little more effort into how these look. If you do it right, these will literally look like you bought them from a professional bakery or from Bakerella or something.
4) Mix the rest of the cast of characters together (but not the outsiders), until completely smooth. If there are any little lumps in it whatsoever, keep mixing. This is probably the one part of this recipe that takes the longest, maybe 15 or 20 minutes total. It doesn’t show very well in my pictures, but the color of the batter should have like an *almost* yellow-heavy-cream look.
Now, if you are indeed a girl after MY own heart you will NOT mix this by hand, please, no matter how pioneer-womanish you feel. PLEASE. I’m begging you from this side of the computer monitor. Unless you want to get a pretty good few-hour arm work out, please use a kitchen aid or an electric hand mixer (which is what I have). I guarantee you will get enough of a workout just by using the hand mixer.
Thank you very much. 🙂
4) Spoon mixture over the wafers, being careful to keep them centered, until the liners are 2/3 full. These tarts are going to rise quite a bit, so, DO NOT OVERFILL. You will be sorry, haha. And this takes practice, but try not to drip any of it onto the pan or on the cupcake liners, just because it looks prettier that way 😉
Now, after you’ve filled up the entire cupcake pan, grab the edges and tap it on the counter to release any little bubbles that might be trapped in there. You don’t have to do it for very long; just a few minutes is good enough.
5) Bake 15-20 minutes, but just remember the tarts do NOT have to be brown, but just *slightly* firm and a little springy to the touch.
6) Remove from the oven (without burning yourself), and cover immediately with a large spoonful of pie filling each. For the cherry ones, the best rule of thumb is two put about three cherries in each, or maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyybe four if there’s enough room, but just be sure not to cram them, okay?
7) Now at this point, please do NOT eat them yet, as tempting as it is. You must refrigerate them first for several hours, in order to taste them in their full glory.
8) Serve them cooled. Oh, yeah, and you can garnish them with the last, poor outsider, Mr. Whipped Cream, if you so desire, but I usually don’t use him at all.
9) Serve these jewels to your best friends or to those cranky people in your life. 🙂 Eat them. Enjoy them. Field marriage proposals as needed. If you have any questions, just let me know 🙂