PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.
PLACE wafer on bottom of each of 12 paper-lined medium muffin cups. Spoon cream cheese mixture evenly over wafers.
BAKE 20 min. or until centres are almost set. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Add decorations as desired. Bend each licorice piece, then insert both ends into each cheesecake to resemble the handle of a basket. Store leftover cheesecakes in refrigerator.
serving size = 1 mini cheesecake