Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

This recipe was sent to me as a request to make. Even though they’re called bars, it’s basically a square cheesecake. Which makes it challenging in that they don’t make square or rectangle springform pans, which make getting the cake out super easy. The original recipe also called for making it in a 9″x13″ sheet pan. I didn’t really want one that big and I also didn’t happen to have that many blackberries. So I split it between two 8″ square pans. One thing that did intrigue me about this recipe was the crust. Most cheesecake is a graham cracker crust. This one calls for  vanilla wafers and pecans. Now I’m not a fan of pecans so I decided to try something a little different, I used candied pecans instead. And as I was using 2 pans, I made one blackberry and one blueberry. Keep in mind that since I did this, the topping recipe below was split in half. So where I used 1 cups of sugar, I put 1/2 cup in each type of fruit. They turned out delicious! Enjoy!

 

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Crust:

  • Foil, the heaver the better
  • 1 11 oz box vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla schnapps (optional)

Filling:

  • 3 8oz packages of cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla schnapps

Topping:

  • 4 cups blackberries (I used 2 cups and 2 cups blueberries)
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 heaping tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 or so tbsp. cold water
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla schnapps
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tbsp.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° and line your pan (or pans) with foil one way (long way if you’re using a 9″x13″ pan). Spray with nonstick spray. Take another pan, I use my lasagna pan, and fill it half way with hot water. Put it on the bottom rack.

In a food processor, pulse the wafers and pecans until fine. Remove any large chucks or crush them up. Add in the melted butter, vanilla, and schnapps (if using). Pulse until combined. All of the crumbs should be well coated with the butter. Press into the bottom of the pan (or pans, divide equally). Make sure you press it down nice and firm.

In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (no lumps). Turn it down and add the eggs one at a time until smooth again. Add in the sour cream and beat until smooth. Pour into the pan (or pans, divide equally). Smooth out the top and bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door, allow the pan to sit in the open oven for 15 mins. Remove and allow to cool completely.

While it’s cooling; in a medium sauce pan (or in my case 2 pans) combine the fruit, sugar, 1/4 cup water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the fruit starts to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes. In a small jar, combine the cornstarch and remaining water (divided if you’re make 2) and shake well. Add into the fruit and boil for another 2 to 3 minutes, it should really thicken up. Cool completely.

Now here was the challenging part for me. I didn’t want to serve these in the pans with the foil as I’d cut the foil with the cakes and people could (would) have foil attached to their bites. So I  carefully used the foil to pull them out on to a counter, towards the edge. Took a plate and put the lip just under the edge of the cheesecake and carefully slide it forward by pulling on the foil until the cheesecake was all the way on the plate. Then I spread the fruit topping on it and chilled for an hour (or overnight, but cover it with wrap).  Cut into bars and enjoy!