These bars were inspired by a dessert I’ve been making a lot lately called the Lemon Lush. What happened was I wanted to make the Lemon Lush for an event, but couldn’t deal with the hassle of keeping it cold, cutting it, etc. etc. etc. I needed something with similar flavors, but easier to serve — enter the Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars.
The recipe is from Kraft. It’s a 9×13 inch cheesecake with a Nilla Wafer crust, and a tart & sweet lemon topping. I made the cheesecake bars ahead of time and froze them, then made the topping the morning of the lunch. The bars were very good and extremely lemon-y, though next time I’ll top them with whipped cream to dilute some of the sweetness in the topping.
Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 52 Nilla Wafers
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 4 large eggs
- 4 8- ounce packages softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 1 3/4 cup sugar DIVIDED USE
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice DIVIDED USE
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil so that ends extend over the side to make a handle.
- Process Nilla Wafers into fine crumbs, then add butter. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake at 325 for 10 minutes.
- Separate 1 of the eggs and refrigerate yolk until ready to use.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, ONLY 1 CUP OF THE SUGAR, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons the lemon juice and vanilla. Add egg white and remaining 3 whole eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
- Spread mixture over crust and bake for about 40 minutes or until it appears set. It may still be a bit shiny or appear undercooked, but if you baked it for 40 minutes it should be done. Allow it to cool at room temperature for an hour, then transfer to a refrigerator and chill for 4 hours. After chilling, you can go ahead and make the topping or lift from the pan, wrap and freeze tightly until ready to use.
- To make the topping, take your egg yolk out of the refrigerator and put it in a small bowl. Beat it lightly with a fork and keep it near the stove.
- In a saucepan, mix the cornstarch and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Add the 1/2 cup water gradually and stir in the remaining lemon juice (a little over 3 1/2 tablespoons). Bring just to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly until clear and thickened. Stir about 2 tablespoon of the hot cornstarch mixture into the egg yolk, then add to saucepan; stir until blended. Cook 1 minute or until thick and smooth.
- Spread the lemon glaze over cheesecake and chill for at least an hour. Using the foil as a handle, lift from pan and cut into squares or bars.
I was thinking of making your favorite lemon bars for an event coming up in May but these make me think I should reconsider. Those lemon bars are so good though!
Mmmm, these look delicious! They remind me of the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Lemon Cheesecake, though they call for Nabisco Animal Crackers or Social Tea Biscuits for the crust, and wow was that a good dessert. I love the idea of making them as thick bars!