My family couldn’t stop raving about these cheesecake bars. I initially set out to make a 9-inch pan, but I’m so glad I thought better of it and went with the 9×13, because they were gone within 48 hours. They aren’t overly sweet, which makes it dangerously difficult to stop after just one piece. Thank goodness I had a house full of boys to help me eat them!
The fresh cherries make all difference, so if you don’t have a cherry pitter, do yourself a huge favor and go pick one up. Trust me, you’ll find all kinds of delicious reasons to use it! This tastes even better the next day, so make it well ahead of serving time, if you can.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 20 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- For the chocolate drizzle:
- 4 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan.
- With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture. Gently fold in the chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the graham cracker crust; refrigerate.
- To prepare the chocolate drizzle, bring 1/2 cup cream to just boiling.
- Remove from the heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Cool slightly, so chocolate can still be drizzled, but will not melt the cheesecake filling. Drizzle evenly over the cherry cheesecake layer.
- Return the cheesecake bars to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Who Dished It Up First: Inspired by this cherry cheesecake recipe from Nigella Lawson.