I’m always looking for different ways to make a cheesecake. So for this recipe I decided to make it in bar form. Cheesecake Squares (or Bars) are baked in a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) rectangular pan making them ideal for a large crowd. They still combine the grainy texture of a Graham Cracker Crust with a smooth and creamy Cream Cheese Filling. Only the filling is a much thinner layer. And I like that. You can serve this as a plated dessert, with fresh berries, a fruit or chocolate sauce, or even lemon curd. But my favorite way is to just pick one up and eat it out of hand.
Cheesecake Squares begin with a Graham Cracker Crust, although you can also use crushed Digestive Biscuits. When crushed and mixed with melted butter, Graham Crackers make a very nice pastry crust. There are two ways to set the crust. One is to simply chill it in the refrigerator. The other way, which I used in this recipe, is to bake it just until set. When making this type of crust, always press the crumbs evenly and firmly into your pan and while the crust may seem loose, it will harden after it bakes and cools.
The main component in a cheesecake filling is cream cheese, which is a white, soft, and spreadable cheese with a slightly tangy flavor. It has a 33% butterfat content so its texture is wonderfully smooth and creamy. To ensure a smooth texture, free of lumps, always bring the cream cheese to room temperature before beating. After adding the other ingredients the filling is poured over the crust and baked just until it sets.
Note: You can bake these Squares in an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan. Simply half the recipe. Baking time will be about the same.
More Recipes at Joyofbaking.com
Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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