I love cheesecakes. They’re rich. They’re decadent. They’re scrumptious! I know I’ve really had dessert when I’ve plowed through one or two pieces. YUM!!!
My daughter and her former college roommates were having a barbecue get-together at one of the girl’s parent’s home. So, we pulled up a chair at their kitchen table a few weekends back, and enjoyed fun stories and great food.
I had bricks of cream cheese in the fridge. I searched the Internet for an easy bar recipe, and came across this one at The Pioneer Woman. The recipe looked easy, and just what I wanted to share will my daughter, her family, her friends, and our hosts.
The bars are easy to put together, bake up beautifully, and the flavor and texture is memorable. Don’t skip the vanilla and pecans in the crust – it made a difference in my taste test. I used raspberries rather than blackberries or blueberries, because they were much cheaper in the store. If you wanted to make this into a lemon-raspberry recipe, substitute lemon zest and lemon extract in the cheesecake batter. I plan on that substitution next time, along with lemon curd as the topping.
Versatile, scrumptious, these cheesecake bars should be included in your recipe quiver.
Let’s eat cheesecake! Mimi
- 10 oz. or 2 sleeves graham crackers
- ½ cup pecans or walnuts
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 - 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 cups raspberries
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray, or smear with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper or foil, making sure the parchment or foil extend over the sides of the pan. Once the cheesecake is baked, you can use these as handles to lift the cooked bars out for easy cutting.
- For the crust: Add the graham crackers, sugar, and pecans into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they become fine crumbs. Add the melted butter, and pulse until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, and pulse again until it's all mixed together. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, and smoosh the crumbs firmly into an even layer. Set aside.
- For the filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream, and beat until all mixed together.
- Pour the filling into the crust, and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 minutes. Then, turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 10 minutes. Finally, open the oven door halfway, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the cake cook completely.
- For the topping: Add raspberries, sugar, and ¼ cup water into a saucepan. Gently mix and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch, mix into a slurry. Add the slurry to the berries, and let boil for 1 more minute. Remove from stove, and let cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the berry mixture over the cheesecake. Place the pan in the fridge, and allow to set for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, lift parchment paper or foil handles slightly to release the cake from the pan. Once it's loose, lift the whole cake to a cutting board. Cut into squares.