Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Hi there.

Before baking.
I'm still here.

And I'm still on a blueberry kick.  The blueberries are the size of grapes.  So I felt the need to stock up.

After baking, waiting to cool.

You're going to be glad that I stocked up.

Because I made cheesecake bars for you!  I needed to show you my latest attempt to turn this little blue superfood into something less than healthy.

AND this is a great recipe because it stars...your food processor!

I love my mixer, but I my food processor is a star, too.  And it rarely gets to do something as fun as dessert.  It usually gets the pleasure of making things like gazpacho or hummus.

Not that gazpacho isn't fun.  But, let's be honest, it ain't cheesecake bars, either.

The crust:

sugar, graham crackers, butter.

And in case you're wondering, this one little package contains exactly nine graham crackers.

Isn't that convenient.  I have also read that nine graham crackers makes 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs.  But then I read that the containers of already-ground-up graham cracker crumbs aren't as good as doing it yourself.

Just sharing my research with you, people.

I just realized that I spent years in law school learning how to research and now I use my skills to research how to make a better graham cracker crust.

My profs would be proud.

Pour the crust into an 8x8 dish that you greased.  This is so my favorite 8x8 dish, because it comes with a lid.  How handy.  It's the little things in life, y'all.

Pat it out evenly - but not too hard (you don't want it too pressed or you'll never get it out of the pan) - with a measuring cup, if you like.

Now for the filling.  Use the bowl of the food processor again.  I don't even wash it, and you can't tell.  Just scrape it clean from crust and you're good to go.


cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon, vanilla paste.

I love vanilla bean paste.  You can certainly use vanilla extract, but this little jar of paste is a treasure.

Speaking of, I'm out.  I used the last little dab in these bars.  This is a tragedy!  I love this stuff and now it's gone! So I just put the empty bottle back into the cabinet.  Because it made me feel better to do that.

And I have this huge mess to clean up on my counter and I was too lazy to throw the vanilla bean paste jar in the trash.

Anyway, spread the filling on the crust.  (My camera ate my picture of my smooth, creamy filling.  I hate it when that happens.)

And top with blueberries.

This is how we roll in our house.
Bake.  But not too long. We want these creamy.

What's new?

Seriously, you'll want to take them out when they're still very jiggly in the middle, because they will set up as they cool.  And if you take it out when it's already set, then you've over-baked it.  Just another handy research tip for you.

Next time, I'm trying these with raspberries and lime juice instead of blueberries and lemon.

Life on the edge is what I'm all about.

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Tyler Florence

9 graham crackers (the amount in one sleeve of crackers)
4 T butter
1/4 cup sugar

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups blueberries

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, grind the crust ingredients until it is the texture of sand.  Spread evenly in an 8x8 baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Use your spatula to scrape the food processor bowl clean.  Pat the crust in the bottom but don't press too hard or you won't be able to get them out.

Return the bowl and the blade to the food processor base.  Add the filling ingredients, except for the blueberries, to the food processor bowl and blend until smooth and creamy.  Spread the filling on top of the crust.  Top evenly with blueberries.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes.  The cheesecake will still be jiggly in the middle but it will set as it cools.  Allow the bars to come to room temperature before you refrigerate them for at least 4 hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

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