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Berry Cheesecake Bars

Happy Cheesecake Day!  I’ve had this tasty recipe for ages, and today was the perfect day to share it with you all!  I’m not a huge cheesecake fan, but these bars are the perfect size for me.  Plus the raspberries make it delightful!  I also have a feeling that Gary might not be able to resist these little morsels since they have just about everything he could want in a dessert. I cut my version in half since I am going on vacation again soon.  I didn’t want to share too many.  Just call me selfish when it comes to tasty treats!

Makes: About 24 Bars

Ingredients (Full Recipe):

Crust:

18 Graham Cracker Boards – Crushed

  • Variation: Use Chocolate Graham Crackers

1/4 Cup  Sugar

3/4 Cup  (1 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter – Melted

Swirl:

1/2 Pint Fresh Raspberries

2 Teaspoons Sugar

Filling:

32 Ounces Cream Cheese – Softened

1 Cup Sugar

3 Large Eggs

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • I didn’t have enough vanilla, so I used raspberry extract instead.

Directions:

1. Crush graham crackers.

2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with foil.

3. In a bowl mix crushed crackers, butter, and sugar.  Press mixture into the bottom of the pan.

4. Bake for 7 minutes or until slightly dry but still soft.

5. Set aside 1/2 cup of raspberries.

6. Put the remaining raspberries in a bowl with the 2 teaspoons of sugar and beat with a mixer until the berries are not longer together and most parts of the berry have been smashed.

  • Instead of using a mixer a blender will work as well.  Use the puree setting if you choose this method.

7. Strain seeds and solid parts.  You should be left with about 1/4 cup of raspberry juice. Set aside for later use.

8. In a large bowl beat softened cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and juice.

9. In a medium bowl pour in 2 cups of the cream cheese mixture.  Mix in raspberry juice.

10. Dot the graham cracker crust with remaining raspberries.

11. Dollop both batters into the pan.  Swirl with a knife or spoon to swirl.

12. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Cool slightly after removing from the oven.

13.  Refrigerate until cold.  Cut into bars.

  • Store bars in the fridge until ready to eat.

* If you want another recipe check out the cheesecake my sister made!

**As I re-read the ingredients I realized that I used only a quarter of the cream cheese and should have used an additional 8 ounces.  That is why the full raspberry is visible above the cheesecake layer.  This is just another reminder that I need to make sure to read the recipe twice and to actually read not skim.

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Energy Bars

I love granola and energy bars.  They are small so you can take them just about anywhere for a quick pick-me-up.  I once worked at a Great Harvest Bread Company store, and we used to make some very tasty bars.  My favorite was the Trek Bar.  I considered trying to duplicate it, but was unable to find some of the ingredients at my local grocery store.  I hope to make it sometime in the future, once I can find all the ingredients.  Instead I made up my own bar with all the ingredients that I enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/3 c. Walnuts

1/2 c. Mixed Dried Fruit

2 c. Granola or Puffed Cereal

1/2 c. Honey

1 c. Chunky Peanut Butter

1 tsp. Honey

**Note: You can change the walnuts to any other type of nut you like.  The same goes for the dried fruit. Just make sure to keep it dried, so that the bars will last longer.

Directions:

1. Put the nuts, fruit, and cereal into a bowl and mix.

2. Put the 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup peanut butter into a sauce pan.

3. Stir on medium heat until honey and peanut butter combine until the relatively smooth.

4. Mix the cereal mixture and honey mixture together.

5. Add the 1 tsp honey to the mixture and stir.

  • Note: This extra honey is to help with the stickiness of the bar.  It’ll help keep all the parts together.

6. Scrap the mixture into a small pan.  Flatten with a spatula.

7. Put in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.

8. Take out and cut into bars.

9. Wrap bars in Seran-Wrap or Wax Paper. You can also put them in small sandwich bags.

10. Store in freezer until ready for use.

  • This will help keep the bars’ shape and from falling apart.

11. Enjoy while on an adventure or just as a tasty snack!