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 9x13 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 ¾ cup sugar DIVIDED USE
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice DIVIDED USE
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ 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 ¾ cup of sugar. Add the ½ cup water gradually and stir in the remaining lemon juice (a little over 3 ½ 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.