Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

It’s that time again! The 4th of July is right around the corner. Every year, I always intend to do something 4th of July-like. The Internet is full of fun looking things to cook, bake and make, but somehow I seem to forget…to avoid…I’m not sure what, but the bottom line is that I rarely do something myself to get in the 4th of July spirit. I always just show up to the cookout and enjoy my cheeseburger.

Not this year though! This year I’ve been determined to do something to show off my Independence Day spirit. And what better to do than to make a dessert that reflects all the colors of the holiday?

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I was a little nervous to make this dessert. Honestly, I’ve never made cheesecake, but for some reason I was feeling pretty confident in myself that day. So I went for it. I soon faced a bit of frustration, as my oven isn’t exactly the greatest. It took about 20 minutes longer to cook than the original recipe said – a good thing to keep in mind if you have an oven on the weaker side, too. As each minute passed, I felt my confidence dwindling away. Finally, everything seemed done and I allowed my concoction to cool. The result?

Pretty darn good. I keep saying that it looks like the cheesecake bars got into a fight or something, partially because as the berries cook, they lose their shape a bit and the juice spreads throughout the cheesecake. Oh, how funny I am. But in all seriousness, they really taste quite wonderful. You can definitely taste the berries but they’re not overpowering, and I was surprised at how good the graham cracker crust is, perhaps because it was such a simple and fast part of the process. Even my roommate who isn’t much of a cheesecake fan approved, so I deem this adventure a success!

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Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl (makes 16 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or however much you want)
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries (or however much you want)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray or spread some oil around the foil.
  • Mix crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Then pack the mixture firmly into the bottom of your pan.
  • In a mixer or food processer, combine the cream cheese, eggs, milk, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth, but don’t over-beat the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Add blueberries and raspberries to the top.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is firm to the touch.
  • Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before cutting. Use the foil to lift the cheesecake out of the pan, and when cutting, make sure to wipe off the blade of the knife each time to ensure clean cuts. Refrigerate the bars until they are to be served, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information (per serving = 1 bar)

  • Calories: 197
  • WW Points: 5 (Points Plus Program); 5 (Old Points Program)
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