Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

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I decided to make these bars as a supplemental Easter dessert. I always get a little nervous baking carrot cake for a crowd because I have come to the realization that not everybody shares my enthusiasm for carrot cake. So, I thought it best to have a backup just in case there were carrot cake heathens present.

This is an easy recipe, one which is probably easily modified for different flavor combinations. Plus, with no need for a water bath or any of the other hassle involved with making a full cheesecake, it is a quick trip to cheesecake town. These cheesecake bars are not overly sweet, too, and the lemon taste really shines through.

LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE BARS
Based on this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
10 full-sheet Graham crackers
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
Zest of 2 medium lemons (~2 tbsp.)
Juice of 1 medium lemon (~2-3 tbsp.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (225 g) fresh/frozen blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″ square baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides.
  2. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse Graham crackers until crumbs.
  3. Pour Graham crackers into a medium bowl, then mix with melted butter and sugar.
  4. Press Graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the baking pan.
  5. Bake crust for 5 minutes, then allow to cool as the filling is prepared.
  6. For the filling: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.
  7. Beat in egg, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  8. Gently fold in blueberries, then spoon the filling onto the crust.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheesecake has set up and edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then chill covered in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  10. Lift foil outside of the pan, cut into squares, and serve.
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