While the berries are fresh…..

While the berries are fresh…..

try this cheesecake on for size!  I made it to celebrate a colleague’s completion of her master’s degree, and it was a huge hit.  Turns out the toughest thing about it is not gobbling up the berries as you are making the cheesecake – they are sooo delicious now!

A pic of this delish final product:


As we were snarfing it up, she mentioned being able to now just read a magazine, surf the web, and watch TV, instead of homework.  Man, I remember how great that feeling was!  So Charmine, here’s to you – enjoy and congrats again!

~Connie Kaye

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Bars

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2 pkg crisp, sweet cookies (such as Pepperidge Farm Boardeaux)
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1 cup each fresh or frozen raspberries and blueberries
3/4 cup plus 2 tsp granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp water, divided

3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 sp salt
2 lg. egg whites
1 lg. egg
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Puttin’ the party together:

Preheat oven to 350.  Process cookies in a food processor until finely ground, then drizzle melted butter over cookie crumbs; pulse well a couple of times to mix.  Press crumb mixture into bottom of lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 325.

Meanwhile, combine raspberries and 2 tablespoon each of the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to mash raspberries, until thickened, about 6-8 minutes.  Place raspberry mixture in a fire wire-mesh strainer over a bowl; press mixture until there are about 3 tbsp. raspberry puree in bowl.  Discard solids in strainer.  Cool puree completely.  Repeat exact process with blueberries.

Beat softened cream cheese, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add egg whites and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add sour cream, flour, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top.

Drop level teaspoons of raspberry and blueberry purees all over the top of batter; gently swirl with a knife.

Bake at 325 until cheesecake is almost set (center will still be a little jiggly when dish is touched), 25 to 28 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen, and cool on wire rack 1 hour.  Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.  Cut into bars and dive into deliciousness!



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