One of my favorite desserts to make is cheesecake. I love it. In fact, it was one of the first table foods my son ever ate. Probably not the best first food, but hey, he has his mother's taste in food. It is still his all-time favorite dessert.
I like a sweet and soft cheesecake with a thick, crunchy crust. And the best part is cheesecake is so easy to make. Plus, when you put it in a bar form, it makes it a little easier to cut and serve. Next time you have some guests over, try putting together a do-it-yourself cheesecake bar.
Put out a variety of toppings for your guests to top their cheesecake bars with like cherry & strawberry pie fillings or caramel.
For the crust:
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 /2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
For the filling:
2 blocks (8oz.) cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, letting edges hang over the side (see picture below). If you don’t have parchment paper, just spray dish with nonstick spray. The parchment paper just makes it a little easier to lift out and cut into bars when they're done.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter, brown sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Put the mixture into the prepared pan and press down hard to create an even layer. Bake the crust until beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Prepare filling. Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and stir. Mix in flour and vanilla. Continue mixing until mixture is smooth. If you have a stand mixture, you’ll need to make sure you scrape down the sides of your bowl to ensure everything is mixed thoroughly.
Once crust is finished baking, pour filling on top of crust. Bake the bars for about 35 to 40 minutes. The center may be just slightly jiggly, that’s okay, it will set up in the fridge. Take cheesecake out to cool for about an hour and then cover and place in fridge to cool completely. This will take about 4-6 hours (or more) to completely chill.