Marionberry Cheesecake Bars

Did you know that when i first decided to start a food blog, it was mainly more cooking than baking? Then i moved back home (good ole sunny Southern California) and it became more baking than cooking? For the past 8 months, i’ve stuck to mainly baking cookies. I’ve ventured out making madelines a few times, cake and cupcakes a few times, blondies a few times, but I always come back to the cookies. Except this time i decided to make bars. Cheesecake bars to be exact. I was surfing my favorites on Foodgawker the other night for some kind of a motivation and my belly were eyeing up these babies from Zoomyummy. She used Raspberry, but i think you can use whatever preserve/jam your little heart desires. The shredded coconut is optional and its easy to change up to your own personal taste. My mom LOVED these!! She didn’t say that because she’s my mom… she really meant it. She’s usually very picky about the sweetness in my goods, but this one was just right. My friend Jenny says they’re better than the S’more Cookies which was rated the highest of all my other yumyums.

Marionberry Cheesecake Bars
Original recipe from Zoomyummy

Crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 cup oraganic cane sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp

Filling:
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups oraganic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
2 TBsp all-purpose flour
1 cup marionberry fruitspread
1 cup shredded coconut, optional

1) In a large bowl combine the chopped nuts with the flour and sugar.

2) Add butter and using your fork, combine the mixture until it looks like crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of crumb mix.

3) Press the crumb mix into the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan.

4) Bake at 350F oven for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden.

5) Combine cream cheese with sugar using your electric mixer. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add the almond extract and make sure you scrape down the sides.

6) Add 2 TBsp flour and mix again.

7) Pour cream cheese mix over the hot crust and spread it evenly.

8) Put in back into the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Remove.

9) Pour the preserves/jam over the hot cream cheese mix, spreading it evenly.

10) For the topping, mix the shredded coconut with the reserved crumb mix. Sprinkle evenly on top of the cream cheese/preserve layer.

11) Bake for another 20 minutes or so. Remove and cool pan on wire rack. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before cutting. Store leftovers in fridge.

Coconut Lime Cheesecake

I’ve been dying to make a cheesecake ever since i bought a springform pan. I found this New York style cheesecake recipe from Joy of Baking which looks really good and i pretty much had everything on hand already. I also had a bunch of leftover limes i wanted to use up and i added the toasted coconut to give it more texture. Before this recipe, i have never truly made cheesecake, except the box kind (don’t laugh, i wasn’t into the cooking back then) and no bake cheesecakes. I’ve heard of people overbeating the cream cheese or getting the crack when baking, and even i amazed myself when i pulled it out of the oven with no cracks to be seen *grins* Yeah, i’m pretty proud of myself :) Anyways, I added a bit of fresh lime zest and juice instead of lemon, regular graham crackers and i topped it with some toasted coconut. After i took it out of the oven, i did let it cool completely and put it in the fridge overnight and topped it with the coconut the next day. When i had a slice on the second day, the taste of lime was pretty faint, but if you let it sit in the fridge for a few days, the flavor starts to come out more. It was pretty darn good. It was very rich and creamy. I gave some to a friend last night and she texted me saying that it was Effing delicious! Of course that makes me a happy panda ♥

Anyways, aside from that, i’m going to be gone for a bit. As some of you know, my husband is deploying soon and our block leave is literally right around the corner. My original plan was to stay up here, but its only September and it is freezing and i can’t even begin to imagine what winter will be with the 7 feet snow all day every day. So, yes, we’ve decided just last weekend that i’ll be moving back home to sunny Southern California this Saturday. Yes, you read that right, this Saturday. I won’t get into details, but definitely try this recipe!!

Lime Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut
Original recipe by Joy of Baking

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

4 – 8 ounces packagescream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 limes- zest & juiced
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup sour cream (not low fat or fat free)
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

New York Cheesecake:
Grease, or spray with Pam, a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

For Crust:
In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling:
In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 1 1/2 hours or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).

Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day.

Limes on Foodista