For a simplified, strawberry-rich version of our classic cheesecake, look no further than these streamlined cheesecake bars. One bite into one of these bars reveals a surprising chocolate crumb crust, packing a satisfying cocoa note to accompany the sweet-tart strawberry jam-swirled top.
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Makes 24 bars
- 2 cups (220 grams) chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 14 to 15 sheets)
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1⅓ cups (267 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 cups (340 grams) finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 4 teaspoons (12 grams) cornstarch
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (680 grams), cubed and softened
- 3 tablespoons (24 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
- 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with baking spray with flour; line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until well combined; using a small straight-sided measuring cup, press into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake until set and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy-duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F (170°C).
- In the container of a blender, combine strawberries and ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar; purée until smooth. Strain strawberry mixture through an extra-fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan; whisk in cornstarch until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and no longer tastes like cornstarch, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for 30 minutes. (Strawberry mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add flour, vanilla, remaining 1 cup (200 grams) sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Add sour cream; beat at medium-low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Pour mixture onto prepared crust, spreading into an even layer with a small offset spatula.
- Working quickly, drop small dollops of cooled strawberry mixture on top of cream cheese mixture; using a wooden pick, swirl as desired. Place baking pan in a large roasting pan. Position oven rack so top of roasting pan is 6 to 6½ inches from top heating element; place roasting pan in oven, and add hot water to come 1 inch up sides of baking pan.
- Bake until edges are set, top looks dry, center is almost set, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 150°F (66°C) to 155°F (68°C), 35 to 50 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.
- Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 1½ to 2 hours. Refrigerate in pan on a wire rack overnight, loosely covering with foil only when completely cool to prevent condensation from forming on top of cheesecake. Using excess parchment as handles, carefully remove from pan, and transfer to a cutting board. Using a warm dry knife, cut into bars.
[…] Bake From Scratch™ Magazine. I made some small changes to the original recipe which can be found here, and good news it’s now small batch so you’re not drowning in cheesecake bars. Although […]