I always wonder if anyone actually stops to read the packages of their food. No, I’m not just referencing the nutrition label…
Often, they have recipes printed on them that are very good. They wouldn’t put bad recipes highlighting their product if it wasn’t a delicious outcome.
I received a box of old recipes from an estate sale, and as I browsed through them, there was plenty of beautiful cursive handwriting on the recipe cards. There were also cutout recipes from boxes of food. Just goes to show you, good recipes can be found everywhere.
Recently, when I was using some cream cheese, I started looking at the printed recipes on the box and saw a double lemon cheesecake bar recipe. I knew I was going to make it for my son as soon as I saw it – he is lemon crazy. He loves anything lemon, even more so than chocolate.
My intent is to highlight my first time making this recipe, share it with you, and give you some tips and insight on making these amazing cheesecake bars for yourself.
What Equipment Do You Need to Make These Cheesecake Bars?
- a 13×9 pan
- aluminum foil
- a saucepan
- a whisk
- microplane (to zest the lemon)
- measuring spoons
- measuring cup
- juicer (optional – I actually have a little trick I use to juice my lemons since I don’t own one.)
- mixer (I prefer my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment.)
Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars Ingredients
- 52 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups) – yes, I found this oddly specific
- 3 tbsp of butter, melted
- 4 eggs
- 4 packages of 8 ounces cream cheese, softened – Since I got this off the back of a Philadelphia cream cheese box, they specifically say to use their product. I always use this particular brand though because it is very good quality.
- 1-3/4 cup of sugar
- 3 tbsp of flour
- 1 tbsp of lemon zest
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice from 2 lemons
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- ½ cup water
Helpful Notes on the Ingredients
- While the recipe doesn’t specifically point this out, in my experience, eggs need to come to room temperature, so lay them out with your cream cheese while it softens.
- Just a note about cream cheese: I do not recommend using low fat or no fat cream cheese. It is not the same. And might I ask – if you are watching your fat, then why are you even making cream cheese bars?
- It took me 3 lemons to get a full 1/3 cup of lemon juice, I guess mine were smaller.
- When you grate your lemon zest, do not go into the pith (white part) or it will taste bitter.
- A word about vanilla: I discovered this vanilla bean paste during my Williams Sonoma Instant Pot Class. You can substitute the paste 1:1 and this is such a beautiful rich vanilla flavor. And I’m never going back.
How to Make the Cheesecake Bars
Heat your oven to 325 F.
Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil, and having the ends of the foil extend over the sides of the pan.
Mix your wafer crumbs and butter until it’s blended; press into prepared pan. (Your crust should resemble wet sand.)
Separate 1 egg and refrigerate its yolk until ready to use. (You will use this yolk for your lemon glaze later!)
Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of your lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl mixer until it’s blended.
Add egg white and remaining 3 eggs, 1 at a time, at low speed until each egg is just blended. (Do not overmix your eggs in cheesecake batter! Truly put in one at a time, barely mixing each in.)
Pour over crust.
Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. (I rotate my pan halfway through the baking for even baking.)
Cool 1 hour then refrigerate for 4 hours.
Making the Cheesecake Lemon Glaze
To make the glaze, you will mix your cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan and gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice until well blended.
Bring to a boil on medium high heat and stir constantly. You will cook and stir until the mixture is thick and clear.
Lightly beat your remaining egg yolk you had refrigerated with a fork. Then, stir in 2 tablespoons of your glaze mixture. (This is tempering your egg yolk! If you were to put the egg directly into your hot glaze, you will make scrambled eggs in a hot glaze! Trust me that no one wants to eat scrambled eggs on cheesecake!)
Then you will return the tempered egg into your mixture and stir until blended. Then, cook an additional minute while stirring constantly.
Let this cool slightly.
Spoon your lemon glaze over your cheesecake. Refrigerate for an additional hour or until firm.
Use the foil you left hanging over the pan as handles to lift out the cheesecake and then cut to serve.
What’s your favorite cream cheese based dessert? Do you have a favorite cheesecake recipe? Let me know!