One of our Federal holidays here in the USA is Presidents’ Day. It is a celebration of two of our great presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Washington’s birthday was originally celebrated on February 22nd but was changed to the third Monday in February to include Lincoln. This also allowed a three day weekend for Federal workers. Presidents’ Day is also a time to remember all of our former presidents.
As a child, I always loved to read about George Washington and how he chopped down his father’s cherry tree.
Although he did not chop down that cherry tree, Washington was indeed fond of cherries. The story about chopping down the cherry tree and not telling a lie about it was from one of his biographers, Parson Mason Weems (1759–1825). Mr. Weems made up the story hoping to demonstrate Washington’s honesty.
If you want to learn more about George Washington, visit mtvernon.org. This site is a great source about George Washington, Martha and the estate itself. It also provides a look at the unfortunate slave population that was at Mount Vernon. There are a few recipes such as the one for hoecakes. Hoecakes were a favorite breakfast food of Washington. He liked them covered with butter and honey.
I have been fortunate to visit most of our national parks. One that really stands out in my memory is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. It has the faces of four Presidents carved in the granite of Mount Rushmore. They are Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. If you get a chance, be sure to visit this wonderful park.
Each of the four presidents were chosen because they represent some of the most important events in the history of the USA. Washington’s face is the most prominent and represents the birth of the United States. I visited long before the digital age of photography so here is a picture of Mount Rushmore courtesy of NPS.gov.
These Mini Cherry Cheesecakes are very easy to make and take very little time to prepare. They are tasty and look pretty with the cherry topping. Also, they are a perfect serving size for rich cheesecake. If you want to celebrate Washington’s birthday with a dessert made with cherries, try this one.
Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
12 vanilla wafers
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 egges, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
cherry pie filling
Preheat the over to 325 degrees.
Line muffin tin with foil liners. Place one vanilla wafer in each liner. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Add in the sour cream, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the vanilla wafers to 3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes at 325 degrees.
Remove from the pan when cool. Chill. Top with about a tablespoon of the cherry pie filling on each cheesecake.
1. It will only take about a cup of cherry pie filling for the mini cheesecakes so plan a use for the excess pie filling (if purchasing the 21 ounce size).
2. The mini cheesecakes are made in a regular sized muffin tin.
3. Recipe adapted from Kraft Recipes Cupid’s Cherry Cheesecakes and can be found here.