Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars

No need to free up oven space for Rachel Conners’ (of Bakerita) Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars. These “cheesecake” bars are made with soaked cashews to replicate cheesecake’s creamy texture—no dairy or baking necessary. With an easy pecan-and-date crust and tons of warm spices, these Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars are packed with the holiday season’s warm flavors. You won’t miss the dairy one bit in these gluten-free, vegan bars. Find more of Rachel’s recipes in our Holiday Cookies Special Issue with feedfeed, out now!

 
Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars
 
Makes 16
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (150 grams) pitted dates
  • 1½ cups (170 grams) pecans, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground ginger, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon, divided
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups (284 grams) unsalted cashews, soaked in cold water for 4 to 10 hours
  • ½ cup (120 grams) full-fat coconut milk, shaken
  • ⅓ cup (113 grams) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) refined coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons (63 grams) unsulphured molasses
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Garnish: ground cinnamon, grated fresh nutmeg, and pecan halves, if desired
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and lightly grease with coconut oil.
  2. In the work bowl of a food processor, place dates. Pulse until finely chopped. Add pecans, ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ginger, ½ teaspoon (1 gram) cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt; pulse on medium-low speed until a sticky dough begins to forms, with small pecan bits remaining. (Do not overprocess or dough will become oily.) Press dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Drain soaked cashews, and rinse with cold water. In the container of a blender, combine cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, molasses, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, remaining 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ginger, remaining 1 teaspoon
  4. (2 grams) cinnamon, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; blend until mixture is silky smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired.
  5. Pour filling into prepared crust, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Tap pan on counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Freeze until completely firm, at least 3 hours. Run knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting bars with the still-hot (dried) knife. Cut into 16 squares. Let thaw at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months. Garnish with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecan halves, if desired.

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I made these last week. They are in my freezer awaiting their debut in my Thanksgiving dessert assortment. They were quite easy to make, look just like the picture and the filling tastes divine! Can’t wait to try them. I have a HUGE sweet tooth so any dessert with benefits is a welcome addition to the party.

    • Hey Michelle,

      We would recommend dates because they have the sticky, firm consistency needed to really hold together the base of these bars. However, you could try using another sticky dried fruit, such as figs or raisins. You would need to soak them in hot water for a few minutes so that you can add back some moisture (as dates have a jammier consistency than both of these dried fruits). The flavor will change and the texture will be slightly different, but it should work in a pinch. Happy baking!

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