How to Cook: Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

This may be one of the last Strawberry recipes for now, and just like the others, you can use any fruit, or no fruit, if you would like! I really love Cheesecake, but it can be really heavy and some people find it difficult to make.



So I made a recipe for Cheesecake that is a bit lighter, and a whole lot easier to make, and it tastes just as good! (This is a baked kind and not the chill-only kind.) I hope that you can have fun making these! I also made it in a bar form for parties, perfect for the summer, and the bottom is made of scone instead of graham crackers! This is fresh and light so I hope you have a chance to make it this year! So, let's get started!


Yields 9 Large or 18 Small Bars.

You will need:

- 1 8x8 Baking Pan (I used a ceramic one)
- Hand Mixer (or really buff arms and a Whisk)
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 Medium Mixing Bowls
- 1 Medium Bowl or Tupperware
- 2 Butter Knives (or a Dough Cutter)
- Toothpick (or something to check doneness)
- 1 Fork
- Non-Stick Cooking Spray or Shortening
- Plastic Wrap
- A plate to serve them on

Ingredients:

Scone "Crust"  (You can double the recipe for a thicker crust)


- 1 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Pinch Nutmeg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons Cold Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Milk
- 1/4 Cup Yogurt

Cheesecake Filling


- 8oz Cream Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt (I used Greek)
- 1 Whole Egg
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (Recommended but optional)
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Jam or Jelly (I used berry jam, you can use whichever kind you want, or leave it out)

Fruit Glaze (Only if using Fresh Fruit)

- 2 1/2 Cups Strawberries, Quartered (or fruit of choice)
- 3/4 Cup Water- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

(or use the Strawberry Syrup Recipe)

Whipped cream to top it with is optional but recommended! 


Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.

Add all of the dry ingredients for the Scone dough in a bowl and mix them together. Slice the cold butter thinly and cut it into the flour mixture, the same way you did in the Tart recipe.


Cut the butter with the knives in an "X" pattern, until the dough looks like Parmesan cheese balls instead of slices of butter. 


Add the rest of the ingredients and mix roughly with a wooden spoon. Once it is mixed well, knead it until it's smooth and form it into a ball. 


Spray your baking ban with the Non-Stick spray, then press the dough into the pan, covering the whole bottom. Use a fork to poke holes on the surface across the whole surface. 


Bake for 8 Minutes at 400˚ F and take out to cool. 

Once it's out of the over lower the temperature to 350˚ F.

While the Scone is baking start working on the Cheesecake filling! 

Add the Eggs (whole and whites), Yogurt, and Cream Cheese to the mixing bowl and blend on Medium for 2 minutes. 



Add the other ingredients and blend on Medium-High for around 7 Minutes (until it looks fluffy and well mixed). 


Drop the pan lightly to get rid of any air bubbles.

 

Add the filling to the top of the par-cooked scone, and bake at 350˚ F for 40 Minutes. Check to see if it's fully cooked and firm, if not lower the heat to 300˚ F for another 10 minutes. 


Once it is mostly cooled, cover it in plastic wrap and set in the fridge to chill while you make the topping. 

Let's make the final ingredient! If you use canned fruit you can skip this step and just top the Cheesecake once it is cooled. But I like the taste of fresh fruit better, and it make it lighter and more refreshing to eat as well~!

Chop your fruit into small pieces, I just quartered the Strawberries, and add them to the bowl or tupperware.


Add the Sugar, Water, and Lemon Juice and let it set. You can "Macerate" them too if you wish, which is crushing the fruit once it has set for a short while. I left mine whole mainly for appearance. 


Once everything is cooled, you can cut and top the bars! Cut them into the desired size first, and carefully remove them from the pan (you probably want to use a spatula and a fork to lift them out) and place them on the serving plate. I made the larger kind, the smaller they are the easier they will be to get out of the pan. 


Once they are on the plate, top them with your fruit and they are ready to go! (My plate was almost the exact same size of the bars when put together! I found that using a square plate looked best.) 


You can pick them up if they are smaller, or serve them on plates if the pieces are larger. This dessert really made me think "Summer"! I tried to take heavy things like Scones and Cheesecake and lighten them up~! I prefer the soft feeling of the scone at times to a hard, crunchy, crust. And the Cinnamon flavor of the scone adds another flavor to the overall bite! 


I topped mine with fresh whipped cream as well! (The picture above is with a thicker crust.)

I hope you enjoy this dessert and can try it soon! 

Enjoying the noms of their labor, 
-C.A.M.