Cheesecake bars please this fruit-loving palate

What to make for a child who can’t tell you what he likes? I’ve learned through the past three years of celebrations — sprinkled with some spontaneous bribery, pacification and rewards — that chocolate is a pretty safe bet.

Thus, my older son’s palate determined the cake flavor for his younger brother’s first birthday. Without other children to consider, however, I called the shots two years ago, which is how my first-born ended up with a lemon-flavored birthday cheesecake with raspberry sauce. No wonder he didn’t tear into it with reckless abandon and then turn his attentions to masticating the paper plate.

My younger boy isn’t quite such a discerning eater. But maybe he’ll still surprise me and, like his mom, favor fruit flavors. This recipe for raspberry cheesecake bars, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, may be just the thing. Or I could make a pan all for me.

Tribune News Service photo

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Swirl:

6 ounces fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Crust:

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For swirl, heap the berries, sugar and zest in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until berries collapse, for about 5 minutes. Press through a medium-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Chill.

For crust, measure the flour, sugar, butter and salt into bowl of a food processor. Pulse to damp clumps. Slide in the toasted almonds and pulse a few times. Dump this crumble into an 8-inch, square baking pan lined with parchment paper (leave some overhang) and pat firmly into bottom. Bake at 350 F until tan and fragrant, for about 18 minutes. Cool.

For filling, measure all the ingredients into bowl of a food processor and swirl smooth. Spread over prebaked crust.

Pour raspberry puree into stripes over cheesecake batter. Use a fork to swirl pink into white.

Bake at 350 F until wiggly in center, for about 25 minutes. Cool. Chill. Grasp parchment and pull cheesecake out of pan. Cut into 12 bars.

Makes 12 bars.

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  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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