My friend Pat Loud asked if I could make a dessert for a party she was hosting at her home. The guest of honor was Cherry Vanilla - the famed rock goddess, publicist extraordinaire, poet and performance artist. The evening was to celebrate the release of her new book, Lick Me: How I Became Cherry Vanilla. (available at Amazon click here for Lick Me) The raucous story recalls Vanilla's rock -n- roll life in the fast lane. Filled with tawdry tales of sex and drugs, insider information on the music industry and surprisingly tender recollections of friends and lovers, this groupie memoir is shot throughout with Cherry's undeniable magnetism, charm and insight. From the glamour of New York’s Copacabana in the fifties, to the excitement of London’s punk-rock scene in the seventies - whether backstage or in the spotlight - Cherry Vanilla was there. And though she confesses to being “stoned out” for much of her life, she managed to capture -- in her memory and in her diaries – many multihued moments both saucy and bittersweet. Filmmaker Tim Burton says "reading Lick Me is much like hanging out with Cherry: a refreshing dose of honesty and humor. Considering this book is about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Cherry has an amazing ability to remember it all."
I decided that sinfully rich, individual cherry vanilla cheesecakes would be the perfect dessert for the party. The recipe couldn’t be easier, and you can double or triple the amounts depending how many your serving.
Individual “Cherry Vanilla” Cheesecakes
click here to Download Individual Cherry Vanilla Cheesecakes recipe
24 round Keebler shortbread cookies
½ cup seedless raspberry jam
2(8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
1 can cherry pie filling
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Place one cookie in each cupcake liner. Dollop each with ½ teaspoon of jam.
With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in condensed milk, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until incorporated. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Remove cheesecakes from muffin tin. Top each cheesecake with a spoonful of cherry pie filling. Refrigerate until ready to serve.