When the warm weather rolls around, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a dessert that perfectly captures the essence of the season. Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars are a delightful treat that combines the sweetness of ripe strawberries with the tartness of rhubarb, all nestled atop a creamy cheesecake layer and a buttery crust. These bars are not only a culinary delight but also a visual feast, with their vibrant red and green hues. Whether you’re hosting a summer picnic, a family gathering, or simply craving a taste of summer, these bars are the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Perfect Pairing: Strawberries and Rhubarb
Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination that has been beloved for generations. The sweet, juicy strawberries complement the tartness of rhubarb in a way that creates a balanced and unforgettable flavor profile. This pairing is a match made in dessert heaven, and when you add creamy cheesecake into the mix, you get a truly exceptional treat.
To create these Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars, you’ll need the following ingredients:
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Cheesecake Layer:
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides for easy removal.
- In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press this mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan to form the crust.
- In a separate bowl, combine the diced strawberries, diced rhubarb, ½ cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Toss the mixture until the fruit is well coated.
- Spread the strawberry rhubarb filling evenly over the crust.
- In another bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and ½ cup granulated sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the strawberry rhubarb filling, spreading it evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the edges are set, and the center is slightly jiggly.
- Allow the bars to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until completely chilled and set.
- Once chilled, use the parchment paper overhangs to lift the bars out of the pan. Place them on a cutting board and slice into squares or bars.
- Serve your Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars chilled, and enjoy the delectable combination of flavors and textures.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars are a delightful dessert that celebrates the beauty of summer produce. The sweet and tart filling, creamy cheesecake layer, and buttery graham cracker crust come together to create a dessert that is both visually appealing and incredibly delicious. Whether you’re a fan of fruity desserts or simply looking for a new way to enjoy strawberries and rhubarb, these bars are a must-try. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to savor the sweet and tangy delight of Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars this summer.