The cheesecake has a somewhat checkered past. No one really knows who invented it, or even when it was invented. But it’s safe to say that it has been around for a long, long time. It was the ancient Greeks who get most of the credit for this dessert, although their version was far less exciting than today’s. Of course, no cheesecake story would be complete without mention of the New York cheesecake. New Yorkers have been in love with the cheesecake since the early 1900s, with good ol’ Arnold Reuben (also of Reuben Sandwich fame) getting the credit for its creation. [photo via womansday]
When it comes right down to it, we don’t think it really matters where it came from or who invented it. We’re just glad it’s here. In all its glorious variations, the cheesecake is definitely one of our favorite desserts. We especially like adding cherries on top… Oh, but chocolate is good, too.
July 30 is National Cheesecake Da,y and we intend to commemorate the day by making the recipe below. It’s a labor of love, really. Good cheesecake requires a little more time and effort, but the result is so, so worth it. We think you’ll love this Sweetie Swirl Cheesecake Bars recipe because–instead of a cake–the finished product is sliced into bars that are easy to take on the go or share at a picnic with friends and family.
- 1 1/2 stick(s) (3/4 cup) butter, softened
- 1 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 4 ounce(s) white baking chocolate
- 1 cup(s) frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
- 2 (8 oz each) bricks cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup(s) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) liquid red food color
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) raspberry extract
- Heat oven to 325°F. You’ll need a 13 x 9-in. baking pan lined with foil (let foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends).
- Crust: Beat butter in a medium bowl with mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat 1 minute until light and fluffy. On low speed, gradually beat in flour just until blended. With fingers, press evenly over bottom of pan.
- Bake 18 minutes or until golden. Place pan on a wire rack; let cool.
- Filling: Melt chocolate in a small bowl in microwave as package directs. Cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, with a rubber spatula, press raspberries through a fine strainer set over a medium bowl (you should have 1⁄4 cup purée); discard seeds.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium-high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract, then flour just until blended.
- Stir 1 cup batter, the food color and raspberry extract into raspberry purée; remove and reserve 1⁄2 cup. Stir melted white chocolate into remaining batter. Pour 1 1⁄2 cups white batter over crust; top with spoonfuls of remaining raspberry mixture, then remaining white batter to cover. Top with small dollops reserved raspberry mixture. Drag a toothpick through dollops and white batter to marbleize.
- Bake 32 to 35 minutes until slightly puffed and set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm.
- To serve: Holding foil by ends, lift to cutting board. Cut in 4 equal rows lengthwise and 8 crosswise.
Recipe yields 32 cheesecake bars.