April 21, 2010

Cheesecake Streusel Bars

Cookie Swap by Julia.M.Usher is on my "best books" list. I remember the countless hours I spent browsing all the wonderful pages of this book. The recipes are simple, they turn out right and yield delicious results. There are wide variety of holiday cookie recipes. The pictures are wonderful, and steps are very detailed.

While browsing through the pages one recipe caught my interest, the streusel bars. I never tried making cheese cake (quite skeptical about how it would turn out) but for some reason today I was in a mood for cheese cake. So after scanning through my refrigerator for listed ingredients I was ready to try them. The recipe required foil for lining the baking pan, since I ran out of them, I sprayed some butter and it work pretty well for me. As for the baking pans, for this recipe I used two 9 inch square pans. I had bookmarked other recipes too and am planning to try out some over the weekend, and I cant wait !!

Preparation:20 minutes
Baking time:15 plus 30 minutes
Makes: 2 dozen bars


Cocoa Streusel Crust:
2 cups plus 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup plus 3 tbsp light brown sugar
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter,softened and divided
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Cheesecake Filling:
8oz cream cheese,room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs,room temperature
2 1/2 tsp bourbon
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
For topping:
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup walnut halve, lightly toasted and cooled
Caramel Drizzle:(optional)
4tbsp caramel sauce

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 9x9x2-inch pan with butter.
2.For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/4cup plus 3tbsp flour, 1/4cup plus 3tbspbrown sugar,2tbsp cocoa powder, and salt. Using a fork or your hands, thoroughly work in 3/4cup plus 1 tbsp butter until you have a moist dough.(there should be no dry spots) Press the dough firmly into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Prick generously with a fork.
3. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Remove and let it cool completely before filling.
4.For Cocoa Topping:Combine the remaining powder 3/4cup flour,3/4cup brown sugar,2tbsp cocoa powder and netmeg in a small bowl. Work in the remaining 3tbsp butter until the dry ingredients are uniformly moistened. Set aside for step6.
5. For the filling:Place the cream cheese in the bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually add the sugar then the eggs one at a time.
6.Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and spread into an even layer.
7. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the filling, followed by the chocolate chips and pecans. Gently press the topping into the cheesecake.
8.Bake the cheesecake about 30 minutes, or until slightly puffed ad firm through to the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle 3 to 4 tbsp of caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake.
9.Cover the pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
10.Remove the cheesecake from the pan and slice them into blocks with a spatula. Trim any uneven edges with a knife.
The book contains eight themed cookie parties that are designed to do precisely this. With a party every season and occasions as diverse as kids birthday and bridal showers- this book will show you how the joy of special cookie swap can transcend the month of December to be shared with loved ones at any time of the year. As a specialized form of potluck, a cookie swap has all the same traits that make a potluck so effortless to host.

HINT: For the neatest cuts, use a sharp knife, wiped clean with a warm,damp cloth between slices.
NOTE: Never substitute pre-ground nutmeg for freshly grated, as the former can be harsh and bitter. For best flavor and texture, serve at room temperature withing 2 to 3 days, before the streusel softens.


Priya said...

Yumm!!!such a beautiful and scrumptious cheescake streusel bars..feel like grabbing..

Sushma Mallya said...

Beautiful bars..

3 hungry tummies said...

It has been a long and tiring day...I just want to sit down n have some of these right now!

Aruna Manikandan said...

delicious bars dear!!!!!
Wonderful clicks....

MaryMoh said...

Mmm...looks very delicious. This would make a perfect dessert after dinner.

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Very easy & tasty recipe.Any replacement for bourbon?Is that the biscuit?

Ana Powell said...

Delicious, fabulous work.
So prefect, delightful photos x

Madhuri said...

Cheesecake bars looks awesome and thanks for the recipe

Pavithra said...

Beautiful,Beautiful,Beautiful what can i say.. nice recipe too dear.

Kamalika said...

Those look dazzling..so tempting..and the pix r awesome as usual...

Julia M Usher said...

Thanks for the shout-out about my book! Feel free to omit the bourbon, and up the vanilla extract a touch! Enjoy!

Julia M. Usher

Rekha shoban said...

bars looks perfect and nice click!...delicious one.

Kalai said...

Wow! That looks so yummy and very tempting! Beautiful Clicks!

Nithya said...

Terrific pics lady.. I am drooling over it again and again. Yummy :) Wish I could just have a bite :)