"The blend of the cream cheese and the caramel flavors is elegantly simple. Cheesecakes are made in cupcake tins for individual portions. These are easy to serve and transport well for parties. The hardest part of the recipe is unwrapping all the caramels!"
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
Place 1 vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of each muffin cup. Place the remaining cookies in a container and crush to crumbs.
Place caramels in a medium saucepan; add milk. Heat on low, stirring occasionally until melted, about 10 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a bowl using an electric mixer until cheesecake filling is smooth. Distribute 2 tablespoons of the filling into each muffin cup.
Stir two-thirds of the melted caramel mixture into the remaining cheesecake filling; mix well. Distribute 2 tablespoons of caramel-cheesecake mixture into the muffin cups.
Bake in the preheated oven until cheesecake is set, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature, at least 25 minutes.
Reheat the remaining caramel sauce until warm, about 2 minutes. Drizzle onto the cheesecakes. Sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top. Remove cheesecakes from the muffins tins; place on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 4 hours.