We were having dinner guests and I wanted to make an impressive dessert in half the time. I chose cheesecake bars but couldn't decide which flavor would please everyone, so I made both! When in doubt, make more, right?
I thought that the lemon blueberry would give a nice, light, fruity option and the chocolate-pumpkin would satisfy the chocolate-craving dessert eaters.
As it always does, the vote was split. Half of us liked the lemon better- half liked the chocolate better.
I liked the chocolate-pumpkin version better because it tasted less like cheesecake and more like something very pumpkiny. Isn't that a great description? Anyway, just laugh at me- it is fine.
What is your favorite flavor of cheesecake?
Prep: 25 minutes Total: 5 hours
To create swirls, drag the blade of a paring knife through the chocolate and pumpkin mixtures several times to make a marbled pattern.
FOR THE CRUST
20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package) (I used 1/2 pkg of oreos with some of the creme filling removed)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.
Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares.
Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time: 3 hr 0 min Cook Time: 35 min Level: Easy
Serves: 10 bars
For the base: Butter, for greasing
For the filling: 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Powdered sugar, for dusting
For the base:
Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place parchment paper over the top, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done set aside to cool.
For the filling:
Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency. Pour onto the cooled base and then cover with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed -- as the cake bakes they will sink a little more and break down.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar
Coming Tomorrow- PB&J Muffins