Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
There’s no denying my love for fresh summer blueberries. From breakfast to dessert and everything in between, these bite-sized berries are the hallmark of summer. Pair them with a creamy, dreamy cheesecake bar and now we’re talking!
These bars combine two of my favorites: cheesecake and blueberries. They’re a match made in heaven! Rich and lemony cheesecake bars topped with a generous helping of fresh blueberries…need I say more?
For the past week, Little Sweet Pea and I have been vacationing in Southern Florida with my parents. We had such an awesome time at the beach that I was sad to see it end.
The first few days we were there Little Sweet Pea wanted nothing to do with the sand or waves. He would scream when you walked near the waves or if sand got on his hands. But everyday I would take him down to the surf, and everyday we would get a little closer until finally we were sitting together in the surf letting the waves touch our toes. He loved it!
He loved watching the airplanes, the kite surfers, seagulls, and the Goodyear Blimp. He would squeal while waving and smiling at each of them. We missed having Andrew with us on this trip, but I know that he is having a blast backcountry camping and fishing in Alaska.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Yield: 16 bars
For the Base:
2 tablespoon sugar
1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup crumbs)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Combine the mixture, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until set. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Do not turn your oven off.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. With a rubber spatula, scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the sugar and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl; add the lemon juice and lemon zest and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl; add the eggs and beat at low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and sprinkle with blueberries. Gently press the blueberries into the batter until they are half exposed.
Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Lift the bars out by the parchment overhang; slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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