Bars, Cheesecakes, Desserts, Recipes

SRC: Churro Cheesecake Bars

I absolutely love being in the Secret Recipe Club! Getting to peruse another blogger’s favorite recipes and then pick one to make secretly is just so fun… and delicious! This month I was assigned to Lesa who writes the blog Edesia’s Notebook. Lesa has been blogging since 2007 and has literally hundreds of recipes to choose from on her site. It was kind of overwhelming… in the best way possible, of course! Lesa is a mom of two adorable little girls, and a variety of recipes that kids and adults will love, both sweet and savory. Perfect!

Churro Cheesecake Bars | thepajamachef.com

This month, I left the final decision to Ben. He had his choice of cookies, pancakes, and cheesecake bars. Apparently it was no contest. Cheesecake bars it was! But not just any cheesecake bars–Churro Cheesecake Bars! A layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake is sandwiched between a cinnamon sugar crust reminiscent of everyone’s favorite Mexican pastry. These bars are so utterly amazing that I could hardly believe how quick and easy they were to make!

Churro Cheesecake Bars | thepajamachef.com

The shortcut to these fabulous bars is using a seamless crescent roll dough sheet. You could totally make your own dough, but I certainly took advantage of this easy option. ๐Ÿ™‚ And don’t worry if you accidentally rip your sheet trying to get it out of the tube… it’ll work juuust fine, even a little torn, haha. I swear, I almost always have issues with so called “convenience” foods. Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? These Churro Cheesecake Bars are sweet and rich. They come together in a snap and are great for a party because a little goes a long way. We loved them and hope you will too! Thanks, Lesa, for a great recipe!

Churro Cheesecake Bars [from Edesia’s Notebook]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 [8 ounce] cans refrigerated seamless crescent dough sheet
  • 2 [8 ounce] packages cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir and sprinkle half evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Unroll one of the crescent dough sheets and lay it over the cinnamon sugar.

With a mixer, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and egg until smooth [about 2-3 minutes]. Pour filling over dough, smoothing with a spatula if necessary. Unroll the other dough sheet and gently place over filling. Top with remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting, then store in the refrigerator.

Time: 45 minutes.

Yield: 24 servings.

Notes: If your dough sheet tears, even the top one, it’s not really a big deal. Patch it together as best you can and the cinnamon sugar will help cover up the mess. ๐Ÿ™‚ These bars can be served warm or cold, but we liked them best warm.

Be sure to check out other recipes from other SRC members here today too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bars, Cheesecakes, Desserts, Recipes

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

So, is it just me, or is sometimes deciding what to bake harder than actually baking it? I mean, there are so many good recipes out there. With so recipes available online, in cookbooks, and in magazines, sometimes my life feels like recipe overload. There are so many things I’d like to make one day. Cakes and cookies and pastries and cheesecake and pie and about 20453408 other things that can be classified as desserts. Know what I mean??! Therefore, what I love are recipes that bring together the best of the best.

Like these Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars.

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars - an incredible fusion dessert in one easy to make bar cookie recipe! via thepajamachef.com Think about it. A layer of oatmeal cookie dough topped with luscious, creamy cheesecake filling. Sounds pretty awesome, huh? But that’s not all. Sitting above that layer of velvety richness are tender, cinnamon spiced apples and a simple streusel topping that is out of this world.

Can this get any better? Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars are like three desserts in one: cookies, cheesecake, pie.

And did you catch what these babies are baked up in? Yes, that’s right–a 9×13″ pan. So can it get any easier? I think not. Score!

Don’t shy away based on the length of the recipe. Most ingredients can be found in your pantry, and once you break it down by layer, this dessert comes together in a snap. Much easier than scooping out individual cookies, fussing with a cheesecake’s water bath, or dealing with the tedious process of rolling out pie dough, I say!

And once try ’em, I’m certain you’ll agree. Just be careful to not take too many test bites in the baking process… you might have a difficult time filling the pan otherwise. Ask me how I know. Sigh… ๐Ÿ™‚Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars - an incredible fusion dessert in one easy to make bar cookie recipe! via thepajamachef.com Don’t worry, you’ll understand once you take your first bite. Enjoy!

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

  • Servings: 24 bars
  • Print

from Betty Crocker; cookie base from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook; apple filling adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

for the apple layer

  • 3 1/3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples [about 6 medium- I used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith]

for the cookie base

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

for the cheesecake layer

  • 2 -8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish thoroughly with cooking spray or line bottoms and sides with parchment paper.

Begin by preparing the apple layer. In a large pot set over medium heat, stir together water, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add apples. Return to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until apples are tender. Set aside.

While apples are simmering, prepare cookie base. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups, and press rest of mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Next, with a stand [or electric] mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, and egg.

Then assemble bars. Spread cheesecake filling over partially baked crust, then spoon apple filling over top. Sprinkle on reserved crumbs, then bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Refrigerate to chill before cutting, then store in the refrigerator.

Notes: Bars best for presentation within 24 hours, but they last longer–the crumbs just start to get a bit soggy after a day or so.

Cheesecakes, Desserts, Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce

pumpkin cheesecake
Don't you wish I was on your table?

I know, I know. It’s probably not nice of me to post a pumpkin recipe the day before Thanksgiving when the menus are already planned and the shopping is already done… [right?]. But this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Topping is so fabulous I hope you’ll forgive me, just this once. I made it to take to our small group from church about a month ago and it was absolute devoured.
slice of cheesecake
This cheesecake is so light, so fluffy, so rich, so flavorful. Even if there is no room for cheesecake on Thanksgiving day, I bet there’d be room on Black Friday. Or Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Monday. Or… any day, really! The chocolate crust pairs really well with the spicy pumpkin filling, and the Pecan Praline Topping is to die for! [And leftovers serve really well as dip for apple slices or drizzle for ice cream…] All the work for this cheesecake is totally worth it… I promise. So, do you forgive me for being mean? ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin Cheesecake [from Brown Eyed Baker]

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs [use a food processor/blender or a rolling pin/ziploc to crush them]
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • about 2 cups [15 ounces] canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use aluminum foil to double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9 inch springform pan.

In a food processor or blender, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan and bake for about 7 minutes or until set and golden brown. Cool completely before filling. Adjust the oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese and sugars and mix on medium speed until creamy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add pumpkin and mix on low until fully combined, scraping the sides as needed. Beat in eggs one by one, mixing long enough to ensure each is fully incorporated. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and vanilla, then pour in the batter and mix until combined. Stir together the spices and add, mixing on low until all is combined.

Boil a pot or teakettle of water for a water bath.

Pour batter onto crust. Place the cheesecake pan into a larger dish [I use a roaster] and pour the boiling water into the larger dish, about halfway [2-3 inches] up the sides of the cheesecake.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until edges are set and middle is slightly underbaked [it should not be firm yet]. Turn off the oven and let cheesecake sit in the water bath for about 60 minutes, leaving the oven door shut. Then, take cheesecake out of water bath and oven, remove the foil, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. [Do not refrigerate until cheesecake is cooled; this causes condensation.] About 2-3 hours is necessary for the cheesecake to cool completely, so take that into consideration when you’re planning!

Refrigerate at least 6-8 hours or overnight before serving

For more info on cheesecakes and water baths, check out this site.

Pecan Praline Sauce [from Food & Wine]

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans, roughly chopped and toasted in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes if desired

Directions:

In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in sugar. Cook over medium heat, always stirring, until smooth. Whisk in heavy cream and salt, then bring to a boil and simmer until thick. Cool, and stir in pecans.

Click here for the printable: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan Praline Sauce

designQuestion of the Day: Favorite flavor of cheesecake. Ready, go!