It was my turn to bring a dessert to book club, but after a crazy week of juggling this-and-that, I found myself scrambling for something to bring, and genuinely wanted to avoid just grabbing something at the grocery store. I had a dessert epiphany when I remembered this really great recipe for lemon cheesecake bars. So I whipped up a batch and while it baked, I finished the last few pages of this month’s book club selection.
There’s nothing super fancy about lemon cheesecake bars, but the flavor is really where this dessert wins hearts. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, or as a late night snack, these lemony treats offer sweet citrus flavor atop a buttery shortbread crust. And the frosting! As if we needed any more motivation to take a bite, add this layer of frosting to the list. Lemon cheesecake bars are perfect to bring to a potluck event, bake sale, or just to share with family and friends.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Serves 16; 40 minutes plus 2 hours to set
- 2 3/4 cups shortbread cookies, finely crushed
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F, and spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Combine granulated sugar and crushed cookies. Slowly stir in melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Press into prepared baking dish.
- Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth. Mix in lemon juice and zest. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture, and place in refrigerator.
- Add vanilla to remaining mixture, and beat in eggs one at a time. Pour over prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- Cool cake completely before topping with reserved frosting. Refrigerate lemon bars until firm, 2 hours.
- Cut into bars and serve.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Tips