Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

This post is dedicated to Jenna @ Jenna’s Everything Blog and is part of a virtual baby shower in her honor. Jenna is pregnant with little Alice and has about 6 weeks left before the grand opening. (That’s a funny line, isn’t it!)

I love Jenna’s blog. Her writing, her life, her photos all make me smile and leave me feeling happy.

This is my first time participating in a virtual baby shower, so I have been a little nervous. I mean, my blog post is a gift to someone! It’s not like I can give her a gift receipt and say, “just return it for something you need more or like better”. Which, in reality makes it a more personal gift, I suppose…something from the heart.

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

When I was trying to decide what to do for the shower, I looked forever at Jenna’s blog, trying to figure out what she would “like”. I saw a lot of fruit desserts, which is totally right up my alley. Desserts centered around fruit are my very, very favorite. That was true even before I developed a chocolate allergy. Fruit trumps chocolate, can you believe it?!

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Jenna, these are easy to make; very versatile, too. I took bits and pieces from different recipes, even including one of my own recipes (which I have never posted here), to make these bars. You can add any kind of topping, whatever puts a smile on your pucker upper. I used raspberries, raspberry puree, blueberries, blueberry puree, and left some plain. The cream cheese layer has a hint of lemon thanks to lemon zest and lemon juice.

The crust to these bars is made from Mother’s (brand name) Frosted Lemon Cookies and vanilla wafers, so the crust tastes all lemony, too! I almost like the crust the best.

Happy baby day, Jenna. You’re going to be a great mom.

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Yield: 24 squares

Recipe Sources and ideas: Filling and blueberry design inspired by Paula Deen's Savannah Cheesecake Cookies. Raspberry puree and swirl designs inspired by Annie's Eats Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes. The crust--All me, baby. All me.

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 20 vanilla wafers
  • 30 Mother's brand Frosted Lemon Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the Cheesecake Layer:
  • 16 ounces (weight) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Fruit Puree (If you are using the fruit puree as a decorative topping to be baked with the cheesecake, use the recipe amounts as stated. If you want to have a fruit puree to drizzle over the bars, then double the recipe. I had some difficulty with the blueberry puree, so I am not including it here...long story.)
  • 3 ounces (weight) raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  2. Crush the vanilla wafers and the lemon cookies into fine crumbs. (Food processor, blender, rolling pin, etc.) Put in a medium bowl and pour the melted butter over the crumbs. Blend well.
  3. Press crust evenly and firmly into a 9" x13" baking pan. (I used a glass baking dish.) Bake for 8-10 minutes until crust is set. It should be golden brown, which is just a little bit darker than before it was cooked.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, blend together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. (Low speed.) Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  6. Add the eggs and blend on low speed until incorporated.
  7. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl and the paddle attachment. The zest has a tendency to collect on the paddle. Give the ingredients a quick stir to make sure that everything is well distributed.
  8. Pour on top of the crust. (Note: If baking with a decorative fruit puree topping, please see directions below.) Bake for 20-25 minutes until filling is set. It is okay if the middle jiggles just slightly. I like to do the toothpick test, though. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the filling. The toothpick will have some of the filling clinging to it, however the filling should not look liquid on the toothpick. If the filling has cooked properly, there will be little moist bits of it clinging to the toothpick.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into squares. I cut the cheesecake into 24 squares.
  10. Directions for baking with decorative fruit puree topping
  11. In a blender, puree raspberries and sugar together.
  12. Put a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. Pour puree into sieve. Stir the puree in the sieve with a spatula or wooden spoon to help separate it from the seeds.
  13. After pouring the filling over the crust, drop small dollops of puree over the surface of the unbaked filling. Using a small wooden skewer or a toothpick, gently swirl through the fruit puree dollops to create a marbled effect. Proceed with step #8 above.
http://tsgcookin.com/2012/09/cheesecake-cookie-bars/

 

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

Check out these other great bloggers’ posts for Jenna’s shower!

Cheesecake Cookie Bars

I’m off to work with these. Yummmmmmm.

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Comments

  1. says

    Terri, your cheesecake bars are delicate and dainty and perfect for Jenna’s special event. I also liked your thoughts on how personal it was to ‘give’ someone your blog post — whew — hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right. Definitely from the heart!

  2. says

    They are just so pretty and perfect for a baby shower! I really like the lemon flavor along with the fruits in the cheesecake-YUM! Your photos are stunnning as well and I like your sense of humor. Grand opening-BWAH! ahahaha! Thank you so much for joining us and putting up with my ineptitude as a host and the crazy amount of emails. I think we managed to pull it off pretty well despite it all! πŸ™‚

  3. says

    Terri, I’m so honored that you made these and dedicated a post to me and lil’ Alice! And YES, you hit the nail on the head–fruit desserts are my fave.
    I also feel like I say this every time I’m here, but your photography blows me away. You are one gifted lady with that camera!

  4. says

    Chocolate allergy? *sad trombone* Fruity desserts will be the death of me. And I’m okay with that! YUM. Just stopping by…meeting the other guests has been really fun.

  5. says

    a chocolate allergy? goodness. but if you can make fruit desserts like this, who needs it? πŸ™‚ i actually think fruit > chocolate anyways, and these cheesecake bars look excellent! beautiful photos. so nice to meet you through the shower. πŸ™‚

    • says

      Sarah, nice to meet you, too. I’ve discovered that there’s one good thing about having a food allergy to something like chocolate–you don’t have to make a decision about whether or not you are going to eat something and there’s no worries about over-indulging!

  6. says

    These look delicious! I like the idea of a vanilla wafer cookie crust. I found you through Mix it up Monday and I’m pinning this recipe. I hope to try it soon! Thank you. πŸ™‚

    • says

      The vanilla wafers plus the lemon cookies made a surprisingly great crust. I use it on a lemon cheesecake that I make and the crust transferred really well to the cheesecake squares, too. Thanks so much for the pin and thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Makes me smile!

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