Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, but I don’t actually eat it very often. It’s expensive to buy and not the easiest thing to make.
For the most part, I prefer my cheesecake plain, or maybe with a few strawberries. When you go adding a bunch of other stuff (like caramel, yuck) you lose the beauty of the cheesecake. And don’t even get me started on cinnamon in the crust of cheesecake. It’s just wrong.
But raspberries are fine. In fact, raspberries are just the right compliment to the rich creaminess of the cheese, and the crunchy sweetness of the cracker crust. And it’s beautiful, and you know we eat with our eyes first!
You can add the zest from the lemon if you want it to have a lemony taste. I did that the first time and it was OK, but, given my preference for straight cheesecake, I prefer it to not have a lemony taste. A little bit of lemon juice is fine, as it just brightens the taste and cuts the richness a little.
I may try making these again only using chocolate graham crackers. Or maybe I’ll put a layer of some kind of chocolate, or add chocolate chips. I love chocolate and raspberry together so I’m sure it would be a great combo in this dessert.
If you’ve ever made a baked cheesecake, you know that they can be a bit finicky. Not that you shouldn’t still go ahead, I mean who cares if your cheesecake cracks?
But maybe you’re a little nervous about it. I would hate for that to be a reason to avoid it altogether. Don’t do that! Try these bars instead. They’re super easy and they come out right. (And they’re pretty, did I mention that?)
It’s easy to make the pretty swirls. After you pour the cheese mixture in to the pan, spoon the raspberry sauce onto the filling in various places. Run a butter knife gently through the dots of sauce to make a pretty swirl.
Are you a cheesecake purist or do you like to try lots of different cheesecake flavors?
- 9 Graham crackers--which is one package (or 1 and ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2, 8 oz bars cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- juice from ½ a lemon, optional (just to brighten the flavor)
- Raspberry Swirl
- ⅓ cup raspberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°
- In a food processor, grind graham crackers until they are a fine crumb consistency.
- In a medium bowl, add softened butter and sugar.
- Stir to combine.
- Press crumb mixture into a Square pan, lightly sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
- Allow the crust to cool before adding the cream cheese mixture.
- In a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer, blend the cream cheese until creamy.
- Add one egg at a time blending well after each.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice, if using, and blend until smooth.
- Set aside while you make the raspberry swirl.
- In a blender, combine raspberries and sugar and blend until smooth.
- Pour cream cheese mixture onto cooled crust.
- Spoon the raspberry swirl on to the filling in various spots.
- Lightly run a butter knife through the spots of raspberry, making a beautiful swirl. (Or not beautiful, either way!)
- Bake on 325° for about 35 minutes.
- Allow to cool fully, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Overnight is fine.
- Cut into squares and serve!
Linking up with: