These creamy, mini no-bake cheesecakes are a grown-up version of those favorite summer orange and vanilla ice-pop treats. They're freezer friendly so they make a great last minute dessert!
20 cream filled vanilla wafer cookies (Think Golden Oreos or Newman’s Own)
4 ounces by weight (1 stick) butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages Neufchatel Cream Cheese (Commonly labeled ⅓ less fat.), softened to room temperature
the zest and juice of one orange
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
1½ tablespoons real vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
Optional: Paper thin slices of orange for garnish
In a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the cookies until they are pulverized to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until evenly combined. (If you do not have a food processor, put the cookies in a zip-top bag and beat the tar out of them with a rubber mallet, heavy pan or rolling pin, then empty into a bowl and toss the butter in with a fork.)
Arrange 9 removable bottom tart pans or mini springform pans on a platter or pan with an edge and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add 2 packed tablespoons of the cookie crumb mixture to each pan and use your fingers to distribute the crumbs and pack them firmly and evenly against the bottom of the pan. (If using one large pie pan, add enough to cover the bottom of the pan and pack down firmly.) Put the crusts in the refrigerator to firm up while you work on the filling.
Use an electric or stand-mixer to blend the cream cheese on HIGH until smooth and creamy. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the orange juice and zest and mix again, on HIGH, until even and smooth.
Add the heavy cream, blending on HIGH until slightly thickened.
Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides, add the sugar, vanilla and orange extracts and mix on HIGH until quite thick.
Divide the filling evenly between the pans, slightly mounding the filling in the pans.
Freeze for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
You can either serve them or freeze them once chilled.
Garnish, if desired, with thin slices of orange.
These beautiful little cheesecakes are rich! One mini cheesecake can easily be split in half for those who prefer a lighter dessert. Of course, if you prefer to eat the whole thing, like me, I won't tell!
They can be served chilled or directly from frozen for a more ice-cream like dessert. Either way is delicious. If you’d prefer them thawed, just set out on the counter-top for 10-30 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Foodie With Family at http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/04/15/orange-vanilla-creamsicle-no-bake-cheesecakes/