These raspberry cheesecake bars are amazing. They are rich, decadent, and taste just like your favorite New York style cheesecake. Plus, they are much easier to make than a regular cheesecake.
4 dozen homemade vanilla wafers
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup Pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt, divided evenly (2 1/8 tsp.)
3 8 oz. packages organic cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup organic sour cream
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp. water
3 2/3 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
4 Tablespoons water
Place the homemade vanilla wafers and pulverize them in your food processor along with your pecans, coconut sugar, and salt.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a large roasting pan big enough to hold a 9×13 pan and create a water bath. Or, if you don’t have a pan big enough, simply place a 9 x 13 inch pan of hot water onto the bottom rack. This will create enough humidity in your oven.
Into your pulverized wafer mixture, drizzle in melted butter and vanilla, and pulse until it is all combined.
Prepare a 9x 13 baking sheet by laying foil along it lengthwise and then again crosswise.
Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and smooth and press to form an even layer and 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, until set. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside.
Next, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and continue to beat until combined.
Pour the filling on top of the crumb mixture. Bake the bars for 45 minutes. To help eliminate cracks in your cheesecake, next turn off the oven and leave the door closed for an additional 10 minutes. Then, open the door halfway and leave it in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, open the door all the way and leave the cheesecake in for another 10 minutes. When the last ten minutes are over, remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely.
To make the topping, add the frozen raspberries, honey, and 2 Tbsp. water to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and cook until the raspberries began to break down and emit their own juices. Wait until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, about 4-5 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with 4 tablespoons water to make a slurry. Add this to the berries. Let it boil for another 1 to 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Pour the raspberry topping over the cheesecake and place the pan into the fridge to chill and set for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting the cross sections of the aluminum foil up. Use a long serrated knife to cut cheesecake into squares, wiping the blade with a damp cloth after each cut. There is a lot of topping, and if you want to see the distinct layers underneath, you’ll need to do this extra step.
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman and Carnegie Deli.