The Kitchen Magician: No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

Everyone should have a simple, no-fail dessert recipe to whip out for dinner parties (or tea time, or breakfast, or whenever the mood strikes!) File this recipe away, and pull it out when you want to dazzle your guests without even turning on your oven.

And you know Kitchen Magician can't resist tinkering around with recipes, so here are a few tweaks to try:

  • Make the cheesecakes in lined muffin tins for cute, pre-portioned desserts.
  • Look on your grocer's International aisle for very British "digestive biscuits." These cookies taste a lot like graham crackers, but they're round and the perfect size for a muffin paper. Just brush them liberally with melted butter, and you've got a ready-made crust without getting graham cracker crumbs all over your kitchen!
  • Save a little lemon zest to sprinkle over the berries for a pretty finishing touch. Throw on a sprig of mint if you're feeling extra fancy.
  • Experiment with different berries - whatever is in season and available.

No-Bake Cheesecake Bars
Recipe via New York Times

16 graham cracker squares (8 whole crackers), crushed
1/4 cup ground pecans or walnuts, optional
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Rind of a lemon, freshly grated
Pinch salt
About 1 1/2 cups blueberries.

  • Combine crushed graham crackers, nuts if using, and melted butter. Press evenly into bottom of an 8- or 9-inch square pan (glass is good) to form a crust about 1/4-inch thick. Put in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Using a standing or hand mixer, or a whisk, combine cream cheese, ricotta, honey, lemon rind and salt, and blend until smooth.
  • Spread cheese mixture carefully and evenly over crust, using a spatula or butter knife to smooth top. Cover with fresh blueberries and chill for at least an hour, or until set. Cut into squares or bars and serve.

Yield: 8 to 12 servings.

Craving more fast and easy cooking ideas? Read other tips from The Kitchen Magician.
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