I’ve been on a lemon kick recently and in the summer spirit so when I saw the recipe for these lemon cheesecake bars I just couldn’t resist. They were easy to make and were absolutely delicious! All the bars were gone within 2 days (I promise I didn’t eat them all by myself!). The tartness and lemonyness was just perfect and the fruit on top kept it fresh and bright. Depending on your tastes, you might want to alter the ratio of crust to cheesecake, my boyfriend said he would have preferred double the cheesecake (he loves the stuff!) and I could see where he was coming from. Also depending on your tastes, grounding the crackers by hand produces a more rough textured crust, my boyfriend liked this aspect of the crust but I wasn’t as big of a fan. Next time I think I’ll use to food processor. Regardless, these were great! I couldn’t get enough.
Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Fresh Berries
From Bon Appetit July 2009
• 9 whole graham crackers
• 5 tablespoons butter
• 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Fresh berries
Crust: Preheat oven to 350. Fold 16-inch long piece of foil into 8×16 inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Butter foil.
Place graham crackers in heavy-duty plastic bag. Using rolling pin or mallet, crush crackers finely. Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Remove form heat; add crumbs and toss to coat. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cook crust while preparing filling.
Filling: using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and sour cream, then lemon juice, lemon peel, and vanilla. Spread batter over crust.
Bake cheesecake until slightly puffed and set in center, about 30 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Chill cheesecake until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
Using foil overhand as aid, lift cheesecake from pan. Cut into 16 squares; arrange on platter. Top each square with berries. Chill until ready to serve, up to 3 hours. Serve chilled.