We hope you all had a fabulous New Year's!
Sorry we've been on a bit of a hiatus, but winter break has been full of seeing friends and family, sleeping insane [*necessary] amounts, and catching up on a little tv (...okay, a lot!) We all needed a bit of refreshing and recharging even after the holidays, right?
As we mentioned in the last post, this break we tried some new recipes courtesy of the ah-mazing America's Test Kitchen. Now I'll admit, I'm not a big fan of cheesecake...WHAT? Crazy, I know, but the crust is my favorite part! Anyways, M and mom lovelovelove the stuff so I decided to try my hand at making it this break!
The recipe's relatively straightforward, and the cheesecake comes out nicely! Made in an 8 x 8 pan, the cheesecake is not too big and not too small whether you're baking
for just your family or a small get together.
Makes: 16 bars
Cheesecake Bars (Recipe from America's Test Kitchen)
7 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over the edges. Grease foil.
Process graham crackers in food processor to fine crumbs. Add in butter, brown sugar, flour, salt; pulse to incorporate. Sprinkle into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until just starting to brown [ 12 to 15 mins ] and then remove from oven.
With an electric mixer on medium high, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add eggs and mix until combined. Add sour cream (we used plain yogurt as a substitute!), lemon juice, and vanilla, and mix. Pour over the baked crust.
*Something neat to try: melt bittersweet chocolate with cream and pour over the top and use knife to pull chocolate through top in order to create swirl effect. We didn't do this, but I'll bet it makes the cake even more delicious!
Bake for 35 to 40 mins, when the edges are set, but the center still jiggles slightly. Cool completely for 2 hours. Then cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Using the foil sling, lift bars from pan and cut into squares.
Speaking of reunions with family and friends, did any of you catch SNL's reunion episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon? Special appearances by previous SNL cast made the episode even better! M and I were literally dying of laughter...here's a snippet!