Summer Cheesecake Bars

I’m re-sharing two recipes today that I’ve already posted because they’re just way too tasty to only share once. I’ve been making these fruit cheesecake bars for most of our get-together this summer, and they’re always popular. Both need fresh fruit, so this is the best time of the year to plan on enjoying them.

Peach Cheesecake Squares |
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Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars |
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Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake BarsThe oven is back! As of last Wednesday afternoon, I’ve been able to bake. I promptly made bow-tie pasta, chocolate chip cookies,  easy bread sticks, and now I can finally share these cheesecake bars. The crust came from this recipe, and I borrowed the filling from this Annie’s Eats recipe. The first time I made it and took it to church, I received several compliments on the flavor. In particular, people liked the shortbread crust as an alternative to graham cracker.

Warning: do not attempt to substitute wax paper for parchment paper. It refuses to come out of the pan. Aluminum foil would work much better, I think.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

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 Shortbread Crust

1 cup butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepared a 9”x13” baking dish with a parchment paper sling. Cut the butter into the flour and confections sugar and press into the baking dish (I use the bread hook attachment on my hand-held electric mixer). Bake 20 minutes or until light brown. Let cool on wire rack.

 Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars batterFilling

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 pint fresh blueberries

Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream with an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Fold in blueberries gently with a spatula until evenly incorporated. Pour mixture over the shortbread crust.

Bake for 35 minutes or until just set and the center no longer jiggles when the pan is tapped. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing from pan using parchment paper. Cut into bars and serve.

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cooked Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars


Cinnamon-sugar topping makes these apple muffins irresistible
Cinnamon-sugar topping makes these apple muffins irresistible

I love breads and pastries. Usually I’m able to resist the allure of the baking section when I’m in a store, but when the last two apples in a bag start to get too soft to want to eat as a snack, there really is no other option than to convert them into muffins.

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book (1973). It can easily be altered for other fruits. For instance, you can use blueberries instead of apples, add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and leave off the topping to have a lovely blueberry muffin recipe.

Apple Muffins

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1 cup white, unbleached flour

¾ cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup sugar

2½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 well-beaten egg

¾ cup milk

1/3 cup cooking oil

1 cup peeled and chopped apple


2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Stir thoroughly the dry (first six) ingredients; make well in center.

apple muffins
muffins cooling

Blend egg, milk, oil, and apples in a small bowl. Add all at once to dry mixture. Stir until just moistened.

Line muffin pans with baking papers and fill ¾ full. Sprinkle with topping.

Bake at 400°F for 12-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

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