Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! I hope you enjoy this day with family, but be sure to keep social distancing rules in mind if you are going out and just stay safe. If you’re looking for a treat to make for today (or any day), these cheesecake squares are a good way to go! I actually made these a couple days ago and took them to share with friends for a socially-distant picnic. They all loved them.
I feel like cheesecake is one of those desserts that some people are scared to make because it seems so difficult and unforgiving if done incorrectly. I guess you could put me in that group. However, making cheesecake squares is a simpler way to enjoy delicious cheesecakes without using a spring-form pan or a water bath. I used recipe from website called Just a Taste (link here). They were so easy and not intimidating at all!
The key to any great cheesecake is making sure you are using room temperature cream cheese. It needs to be super soft so that it blends in evenly, leaving you with a lump-free mixture. The worst feeling is biting into a piece of cheesecake then getting a clump of cream cheese, it just ruins the whole experience. So if you’re going to make these bars, let the cream cheese sit out for like an hour before you begin. Once you have your softened cream cheese, these bars are pretty fool-proof.
So there is a basic graham cracker crust on the bottom just made with graham crumbs and butter. It gets pressed into a pan lined with tin foil (for easy removal and clean up). Make sure you press the crust down well and try to get it as even/flat as possible, this will also help it stay together after baking.
Then comes the star – the cheesecake mixture. The super soft cream cheese is blended with sugar, vanilla, and eggs. The recipe calls for lemon juice and zest, but I didn’t have any so I just skipped them. The filling turned out amazing, it was so creamy and luxurious. It gets poured on top of the crust then you just gotta pop it in the oven to bake.
It comes out of the oven a little soft, but once it cools down and chills in the fridge for a couple hours, it is good to go! The tin foil in the pan helps to remove the entire cheesecake so you can cut it into bars. I made 16, but you could make your bars as big or small as you like.
Like I mentioned before, I took some of these bars to share with friends. With the rest, I cut the squares a little smaller and popped them in the freezer! They almost became like cheesecake ice cream which is so much better than regular cheesecake. If you wanted to take these to another level, you could dip them in some melted some chocolate and put in the freezer to firm up.
But any way you slice it, these cheesecake bars are a delicious treat and I will be definitely making them again 🙂 Happy july!