Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars


Okay, so I kind of fell behind on the blog. Again. Whoops.

But, where did July go? Where? I’m seriously asking here. One minute it’s the 4th and I’m in Philly w/ my sister, the whole month stretched ahead of me until our family trip to San Francisco, and the next thing I know I’m writing "8/1" on everything at work yesterday. Slow the eff down, summer. 

July threw a wrench in my foray back into blogging, to say the least. But July also gave me a west coast vacay w/ my family, so I’ll let it slide. I thought of just coming here and posting a zillion pictures from our San Fran takeover, but then I decided I should rehash every second of it, like a real blogger. I’ll have blog content for days, if not weeks, so check back to find out how my sisters and I recreated the Full House opening credits and for the living habits of the sea lions at Pier 39 that we just couldn’t stay away from.

I’m back today w/ a recipe. Me? Talking about food? Shocking. 

I’ve been using a lot of stone fruit and berries at work b/c hello, summer. It’s like illegal not to have something stone fruit and berried on the menu. I’m a total chocoholic, but this time of year, I crave all the fruit desserts. I was browsing Pinterest, looking for something to crush my sugar craving, when I spotted the perfect recipe to play around w/ on my day off. 

Enter the lemon sugar cookie bar. I see any sort of cheesecake bar and it’s a wrap. And like I said, admitted chocoholic here, but lemon desserts are kind of my guilty pleasure. The sweet and tangy combo gets me every time. Straight up lemon bars are near perfection, but adding a cheesecake element like w/ these is actual perfection.

Of course I couldn’t stick to the recipe. Lemon sugar cookie bars sound amazing, but you know what sounds even more amazing? Raspberry lemon sugar cookie bars. Blueberry lemon sugar cookie bars. Lemon and berries are a classic flavor combination. I was going to do blueberries, my tried and true, until I saw the blackberries, fat and juicy and on sale, and I knew it was kismet. Blackberry lemon sugar cookie bars commenced.

The recipe looked great, and I’ve linked it above. Whenever I’m unfamiliar w/ a new site, I usually read the comments to see how others have fared. There were a few comments about the lack of egg in the cheesecake recipe, where the author responded that this has been a go-to recipe for her for years and the lack of egg isn’t a problem. You know what? It probably isn’t. But I decided to tweak the filling just a tad b/c it’s baking and you know what they say, it’s an art, not a science. Cue the wink face emoji.

These came out just like I had hoped: shortbread-esque cookie crust, thick creamy filling -tangy and sweet and bursting w/ lemon flavor and ripe blackberries- and buttery crumble on top. If you’re a lemon lover, you should make a batch of these now. Even if you’re not, the chances you’ll gobble these up are roughly 100%. It’s an easy cheater cheesecake where you don’t have to worry about cracks and it’s served on a cookie and covered in buttery goodness. So yeah, I think you’ll like them.


Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup yogurt (I used plain Greek, but regular will work) 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 lemons, zested
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 pint blackberries

Instructions:

For the crust:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F
2) Line an 8x8 square baking dish with foil and spray w/ non stick cooking spray
3) In bowl of stand mixer using paddle attachment, or large bowl with hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light. Add vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the flour slowly and mix until dough forms.
4) Press half to two-thirds of the dough into prepared pan and bake for 25-28 minutes, until lightly golden brown (the crust doesn’t have to be completely cooled before pouring in the filling, but you don’t want it super hot, either. I let mine cool for a few minutes and then stuck it in the refrigerator as I made the filling). 
5) Store remaining dough in the refrigerator – this will be the crumble topping
For the filling:
1) In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or medium bowl with a hand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and scrape down the sides as needed. Add the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add egg and mix until combined. Add blackberries and mix until evenly distributed throughout. Pour filling over crust.
2) Crumble the remaining sugar cookie dough evenly over the top of the filling
3) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until filling is set and crumble is golden brown.
4) Cool in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before cutting 

Comments

Stephanie said…
They look so good!!
Brigid said…
Thanks, Steph! You should make them for John to bring to the firehouse and be the hit of the squad! Or to just eat all by yourself = D

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