Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of the few desserts I actually go out of my way for. I kind of really love cheesecake. And this cheesecake is delicious. Using ricotta instead of traditional cream cheese really makes the cheesecake seem both rich and creamy, but without the heaviness cheesecakes normally have. I also think that the blueberry and lemon flavors really help keep the cheesecake feeling light and summery almost. I think a fruit centered cheesecake is much more appealing in the summer than something super rich and chocolatey.

Definitely make sure you let these cool overnight! You cannot skimp on the cooling time with these ones. But trust me, it’s totally worth the wait. The blueberry and lemon flavors really, really develop and get nice and friendly together the longer they And since this cheesecake is cut up into bars, it makes a great dessert for picnics, barbecues or when you need a portable dessert (obviously leave the blueberry sauce off to keep it clean and portable!).

Gluten Free Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Our Best Bites.

Ingredients

Crust and Topping Layers
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, very cold
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
Cheesecake Layer
  • 15 ounce container ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, plus one egg white
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries

Quick Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 ¼ cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. To prepare crust and topping, combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to combine. Use a large-hole cheese grater to grate butter into flour mixture, or alternately cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture. Use clean hands to break up butter and flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs. Add egg yolk from separated egg (reserve egg white for the next step) and add to crumb mixture. Quickly toss to incorporate egg yolk into crumbs. Remove half of crumb mixture (about 1 ½ cups) and lightly press into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. Add lemon zest to the remaining crumb mixture, stir to combine, and set aside.
  3. To prepare filling, place ricotta and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes), scraping down sides as necessary. Place mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in flour, vanilla, eggs, plus the reserved egg white from the first step, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and pour mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup blueberries over the top of filling and then top with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Bars should be just golden on top and slightly jiggly in center when shaken. Remove and let cool completely. Cover, and Place in fridge overnight to chill. When ready to serve, slice into bars.
  4. For Sauce: Combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, smashing berries with a fork. Cool. Sauce will thicken once cooled and chilled, adjust consistency by adding water until desired consistency is reached.

 

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Earlier today I was discussing baked goods with my friend Zack (we don’t like them). This whole conversation came out of a discussion of birthday cakes (it’s my birthday today, we were just randomly discussing cakes). I like savory things much better. Personally I would be much happier if someone gave me a wheel of brie or blue cheese, stuck a candle in it and called it a day. There is one exception to my dessert rule and that would be cheesecake. I do like cheesecake.

This isn’t your typical cheesecake. There is blue cheese involved, which is initially why I wanted to make this. Combining my favorite cheese and my favorite dessert just seemed like a brilliant idea. I was slightly hesitant about the fact that there is no sugar added into the cheesecake. One of them fell apart when I was removing them from the muffin tin and I stole a bite and it was not a good idea. Luckily when I served them with the pears, it was a very enjoyable (and unusual) combination. I had enough crust for 14 cheesecakes, but only enough filling for 13. I would recommend only doing 12 as some of my came out a little thin on the cheesecake end of things. Luckily I like my cheesecake on the crustier side of things, so I wasn’t too bothered by that.

Baby Cheesecakes with Toffee Pears

Baby Cheese Cakes with Toffee Pears
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup dairy sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 4 pears, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted broken walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line eight 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with foil or paper bake cups; set aside.
  2. For crust, in bowl stir together oats, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until combined. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons oat mixture into each prepared muffin cup. With bottom of a narrow glass press down lightly. Bake 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  3. For cheesecake filling, in medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Add egg and beat just until combined. Stir in blue cheese and sour cream.
  4. Spoon well-rounded tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each crust-lined muffin cup. Bake 20 minutes or until slightly puffed and set. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from cups. Place on tray, cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  5. For Toffee Pears, in large skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup brown sugar and cream. Cook and stir until bubbly. Add pears. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.
  6. To serve, remove foil or paper liners from cheesecakes. Spoon about 1 tablespoon brown sugar-cream mixture into each of the dessert dishes. Top with a cheesecake. Spoon pears around cheesecake. Sprinkle each with toasted walnuts.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake (Gluten Free!)

Today is my birthday! This is my all-time favorite dessert.

Now, I’ll let you all in on a little secret. I am not really a fan of chocolate, or of dessert in general, except when it comes to this cheesecake. I love this cheesecake. Mama CC has made it for my birthday every year we have been in the same country since I was in middle school. I have been very wary of sharing the recipe and have only made it for a few select people in the past. I don’t want anyone else messing with my favorite dessert. But honestly, it’s just too good not to share. It’s ridiculously rich. This is probably the richest cheesecake you will ever try. That is why I tried to make mini cheesecakes of it. I thought it would help stagger the richness of the cheesecake. You really can’t have more than a sliver of it at a time. So mini cheesecakes seemed like a natural solution. Mini cheesecakes were brilliant in their inception, but not so much in their execution. They were just way too much work. But they did benefit from the smaller portion; you really only need two or three bites to be satisfied.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake
Yields 1-9 inch cheesecake

Chocolate Graham Crust: 

In medium bowl, stir together crumbs, sugar, cocoa and butter.  Mix well.  Press into bottom and halfway up side of a 9-inch springform pan. 

Cheesecake:

  • Chocolate Graham Crust
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  1. Prepare Graham Crust.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs, beat until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared crust.
  3. Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven to wire rack, cool 15 minutes.  Increase over temperature to 425 degrees.
  4. In a small bowl stir together sour cream, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla, mix until smooth.  Spread over  baked filling.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven to wire rack.  With a knife immediately loosen case from side of pan.  Cool completely; remove from pan.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight until completely cold.  Serves 10 – 12!