Friday, August 9, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

These are dreamy, creamy, crazy bars. Like lemon bars mashed up with cream cheese and lets throw some incredibly purple swirls from fresh blueberries in there.

Like portable blueberry lemonade flavored cheesecake.
If this looks orange to you, I promise you it's lemon. Also I'm obsessed with juice/zest bowls--they look like eggs!
It has all the good parts: graham cracker crust, 2 full packages of cream cheese, and two full lemons, juice and zest. Now, about the cream cheese: I love using neufchatel cheese, which is basically low-fat cream cheese, in these kinds of recipes. I believe you get more tangy cheese flavor, while helping to keep these...umm, I was going to say "more healthy," but I think "less unhealthy" makes more sense. And I always get the store brand.

Mostly I do it for the cheesiness, even though I have no idea if that's true. Neufchatel is sold the same way as cream cheese, in 8 ounce blocks. The Kitchn has a nice explanation of the difference here.

Also (BONUS), this recipe uses one food processor. Dump ingredients and go. wipe out. repeat.

Portable, not fussy or (too) messy, and big on flavor. Glorious, creamy, fruity and summery, these bars beg to be made.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Yield: 1 8x8 pan (I cut it into 9 generous pieces)


  • 9 graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 ounces cream cheese or neufchatel (see note above), room temperature if possible
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess hang over the sides of the pan. (or grease it, and then at the end you can just cut the bars out of the pan)
  2. Make the Crust: In a food processor, process the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until you have the texture of bread crumbs (do not cut your thumb on the blade reaching in to break up the crackers, like I did). Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Press the mixture into the lined baking pan and gently pat down evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Set aside.
  3. Make the Filling: Wipe out the food processor. Add the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Process until well combined. (If your cream cheese is cold, process just cream cheese and sugar for a minute or so to soften it up before adding the liquidy eggs) It should have a smooth consistency. Pour the filling onto the crust and then sprinkle the blueberries over top. The blueberries will sink slightly, but should still be half exposed. As they bake, they will sink a little more and break down.
  4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice.

Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. This recipe is so perfect that I changed literally nothing.

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