Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Ganache

Cheesecake may be one of the most decadent types of dessert.  This cheesecake bar with chocolate ganache adds an additional layer (no pun intended) of richness and decadence.  If you are craving something sweet, creamy cool and chocolatey this will definitely not disappoint.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Start with using one and a half sleeves of graham crackers to make the buttery crumb crust.

I just love watching things whirl around inside my food processor and become transformed into something completely different.

Here’s the completely transformed cracker crumbs.

They look a little dizzy to me, poor things.

Yup, exactly one and a half cups.

The crumbs with my 3 brown sugar domes (shape made by my measuring spoon).  Drizzle in the butta!

Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan evenly.

Be sure to lick your fingers when this step is done.

Look at this creamy richness.  Good enough to eat with a spoon………but I resisted, barely.

Smooth everything out as evenly as possible.  I also threw the pan down on the counter top a few times to get air bubbles out.

Now for the chocolate ganache.  I used half and half instead of heavy cream as the original recipe indicated.  I figure it would help with my sweet tooth guilt.  Didn’t really…….

Here is the masterpiece after an overnight stay in the refrigerator.  I prepare my knife in a glass of hot water.  Wipe it dry and cut your bars out.  The hot knife makes it so much easier.  Make sure to dip the knife back into the glass and wipe clean before each new cut.  This will ensure nice clean cuts.

This picture kinda makes me wanna lick the screen.

But luckily I don’t have to, I still have some pieces left in the fridge.  If my kids didn’t get to them first.  Oh, I gotta go check!

Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Ganache

Adapted from Bakerella

Crust
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers (1 ½ sleeves)
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
6 Tablespoons melted butter

  • Mix cookies and sugar together.
  • Add butter and stir until combined.
  • Press mixture into a 9 X 13 inch pan.

Cheesecake
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
  • On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  • Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove and cool.
  • Prepare ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
1 cup half-and-half
2 oz. butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
¼ cup powdered sugar

  • Heat cream and butter on stove until just before boiling.
  • Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely combined.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.
  • Pour over cooled cheesecake.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cut into bars and serve.

Makes 24 bars.

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Lemon Bars

Just looking at this lemon bar right now makes the floodgates of my salivary glands open up.

Excuse me as I wipe the drool off my face.  *wipe wipe*  Okay, I’m ready.

The sour creaminess of the lemon custard really compliments the crispy sweet crust so well too.

So, if you’ve read most of my posts, you can see I try Ina Garten’s recipes quite a bit.  I mean, she is the Barefoot Contessa after all.  What does that mean anyway?

The closest I’ve been to a barefoot anything is barefoot and pregnant.  Does that count for anything?

You gotta start with good ripe lemons.  These are the main ingredient, so they’ve gotta be good.

Juice those babies up!

Start with the dry ingredients.

Add in the eggs and juice.

You can tell I really got my fingers into the dough.

Bake the crust and make sure it’s nice and cooled before you pour in the filling.

Here’s the filling all baked up and nicely cooled.  The parchment paper was giving me some problems, so I ended up having to tape them to the outside of the pan to keep them from falling into the lemon filling.

Get out your fairy dust (powdered sugar) and sweeten the top of the lemon bars.

Enjoy these sweet and tangy squares of deliciousness!

Lemon Bars

from Ina Garten

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup flour

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.