Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Squares

I am a full-fledged chocoholic. It's sometimes difficult for me to fathom a dessert without the use of cocoa powder, cocoa nibs or chocolate chips.

Obviously not everyone feels this way about chocolate, case in point, my husband Kevin. When the two of us dine out, my dessert choice always leans towards the flourless chocolate cake, the chocolate mousse, or anything with ganache...lots of ganache. Kevin on the other hand, prefers the poached pears, the sautéed banana or the coconut sorbet. I'll admit, he's a bit of a buzzkill when it comes to my favorite dining ritual known as dessert sharing.

But it's all good. My love for dessert-making trumps my sweet tooth, any day. Since starting this blog, I've made a conscious effort to select recipes that will appeal to all tastes. With pastry school just three months away, I'm hoping to gain the skills and knowledge to add many more. So today, it's lemon cheesecake, but tomorrow it may be a peach clafoutis, a ginger soufflé or a walnut roulade.

And we all know that Kevin will enjoy that.

Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the crust:
  • 8 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons zest and about 3 tablespoons juice)
Make the crust: 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Crimp overhang under rim of pan.
In a food processor, blend graham crackers with sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until moistened.

Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently (wipe processor bowl clean, and reserve for making filling). Bake until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While crust is baking, make filling.

Make the filling:
Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice; blend until smooth.

Pour mixture onto hot crust in pan; smooth top. Return to oven, and bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken), 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool completely in pan. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan. With metal spatula, lift cheesecake from foil; cut into 16 squares.


  1. Chocolate is by far my fave too. However, anything lemon or cheesecake makes a great second place!

  2. I am a choco-holic too but lately have been craving all things lemon....these bars look delicious!