These bars are a dream. No kidding.
Granted it could be a biased opinion, since I adore anything that’s cream cheese cheesecake-y. But this one… I made them for the first time to be served at my birthday party recently, because blueberries and lemon went nicely with my theme colours: blue, white and yellow.
To my absolute delight and surprise, IT WAS A HUUUUGE HIT.
Getting compliments for my own bakes at my own 21st? It’s like the icing — or the blueberries? — on the cake!
Party guests have been asking for the recipe and asking for more- heck, even my Mom can’t stop talking about how she loved it. And mind you, she’s not one for a rich, substantial cheesecake. It’s just not her.
But this might have changed all that… ;)
So, naturally, I’d to make it again. (And prolly will again, and again, and again.) So will you; consider this a warning!
Just some key ingredients for this superbly delish cheesecake. Oh, and if you’re a zest lover, you’ll definitely want to add more zest than stated in the recipe!
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Sally’s recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction
Yield: 24 bars
For the Oatmeal Cookie Base
- 1 1/3 cups plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly cold
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
For the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Filling
- 2 8-ounce packs cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 large lemon or 2 medium lemons)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon or 2 medium lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (sometimes I use more!)
To make the Oatmeal Cookie Base
1. Preheat the oven to 176 degrees C (approximately 350 degrees F). Evenly butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and rolled oats to form your dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (I use a Kenwood stand mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for a few minutes, until fully combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Using a spatula, mix well to fully combine.
5. Press two-thirds of the cookie dough into the bottom of the baking dish. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reserve remaining cookie dough for the topping. (Sometimes I don’t use up all the cookie dough, though, because I like to preserve the integrity of the blueberry flavour. However it’s really up to you!)
To make the Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Filling
1. While the cookie base is baking, make the cheesecake filling. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice on medium-high speed for a few minutes until you achieve a creamy texture.
2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides using a spatula. Then beat again for 30 seconds just to make sure there are no cheese lumps. The mixture should be smooth and slightly runny. Stir in a few blueberries, making sure not to pop them (I do this just to ensure there are blueberries within the filling, but you can omit this step).
3. When the cookie base is done, remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 162 degrees C (approximately 325 degrees F).
4. Allow the cookie base to cool on a standing rack for 8 to 10 minutes before pouring the cheesecake filling over.
5. Sprinkle the remaining fresh blueberries over the filling and gently press them down. Crumble the reserved cookie dough over the blueberries.
6. Place into the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is lightly browned. You should still be able to jiggle the cheesecake filling in the centre.
7. Allow to cool completely on a standing rack before chilling in the refrigerator. It’s best to chill them between 12 hours to overnight before cutting, so that the bars will be easier to cut.
While the cheesecake filling is so awesome (you can tell because it’ll smell really good even before going into the oven), personally I feel the thing that takes the crown for these bars is the humble homemade oatmeal cookie base.
I’ve always had trouble with cake bases, no idea why. Of course, that was until I discovered the “secret” with the jelly hearts.
But I love this rolled oats version because there are no biscuits to crumble, and the method makes it foolproof! How awesome is it to never go wrong!?
Which essentially, what this really means is: these lemon blueberry cheesecake bars are a mixture of awesome plus awesome, WHAT.
Enjoy your treats and remember to share! I know I did. x