As a child, it was always exciting to return home from school to find a homemade dessert prepared for after dinner. It didn't take much — I remember the joy of seeing instant chocolate pudding chilling in the fridge. These days, food manufacturers make it very easy for us to prepare treats in no time, even things that can take lots of time and skill to make from scratch. All of our panelists love cheesecake, but don't love the time and effort it takes to prepare. This week, we sampled four cheesecakes made from boxed mixes. Two were cooked in the oven and two required no baking, just refrigeration. All four had fans among our tasters.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent