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Cheesecake Bars with Melted Chocolate
Cheesecake Bars with Melted Chocolate Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

When we challenged our Recipes editor to come up with a foolproof cheesecake recipe, she did not disappoint. It’s the perfect dessert for wowing your in-laws or dinner-party guests. But what about a more everyday cheesecake recipe? Well, she nailed that one too. This cheesecake bars recipe takes a fraction of the time and still yields bite after decadent bite of creamy custard and crunchy cookie crust. She earned bonus points this time, though, for finishing the bars with a drizzle of chocolate.

RELATED: Shhh..This Cheesecake Is Dairy-Free

1 1/2 dozen bars

Crust

18 graham crackers

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1¼ cups sugar

⅓ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

5 eggs

1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract

To Finish

½ cup semisweet chocolate, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of extra parchment to hang over the edges.

2. Make the Crust: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl, then wipe out the food processor’s bowl.

3. Add the sugar, cinnamon and salt to the graham-cracker crumbs and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer.

4. Bake the crust for 8 to 9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Let the crust cool to room temperature. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

5. Make the Filling: Place the cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract and continue to process until the batter is smooth and combined, 1 minute more.

6. Pour the cream-cheese mixture over the cooled crust. Bake until the custard is lightly golden and set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.

7. To Finish: Refrigerate until completely cool and firm (30 minutes to 1 hour, or overnight), then cut into 2-inch squares and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Serve immediately.

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