February 15, 2010

Cheesecake Bars

People have been asking me how the wedding plans are coming.  For the most part, the plans are done.  All it took was a couple emails, really.

We are getting married at the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas at the end of March.  Then, we are having  a pig roast “reception” a few days after we get home (more on that later).

I bought a wedding dress off the rack at David’s Bridal.  It’s a knee-length, strapless, ivory dress (Jerad hasn’t seen the dress, yet, so I don’t want to describe it too much right now).  It fits perfectly and needs no alterations.  I’m wearing a little blusher veil and green heels with it.  I also ordered a custom pair of green Chuck Taylor sneakers to wear with my dress at the pig roast.

We got our wedding bands, simple white gold bands, from Agha Designs in Alton.  They also designed my engagement ring, which will soon be featured in Flair Magazine, a feature in the Alton Telegraph.

A couple weeks ago, I went to pick up the rings and decided to have something engraved on the inside of Jerad’s.  I chose a fairly random, kind of obsure line from a song.  Because I can’t keep a secret, I ended up telling Jerad that I had something engraved.  A few days later, he stopped by the Agha's studio to have something engraved in my ring.

He finally picked up the rings on Friday, and we decided to go ahead and read what we’d written.  Surprisingly, we chose the same song quote!

I’m always still shocked by how much Jerad and I think alike…and by how well he knows me.

On Saturday evening, I told him that I was going to make a treat while he was at work that night.  “Are you baking a raspberry cheesecake for me?” he asked. 

“No,” I replied.  “A cheesecake takes like 8 hours to make!”

“Ok,” he said with a smirk, “Are you making raspberry cheesecake bars then?”

I couldn’t help but laugh! How’d he guess that?  Because I know what he likes, and he knows how I think.

I’m one lucky girl, and I need to remind myself of that more often.

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 ounces seedless raspberry jam *
1 cup fresh raspberries, halved

* Strawberry or blueberry jam/fruit would also be good.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the butter and graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl until combined. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.  Chill while you prepare the filling.
  • In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment on medium-high until creamy.
  • Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, & lemon juice.  Beat until creamy and well-blended.
  • CAREFULLY spread the jam evenly over the crust.
  • Arrange the raspberries, cut side down, over the jam.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the berries.  It's okay if a few berries peak through.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the filling is set & slightly puffed.
  • Remove the pan from the oven &  cool to room temperature. Cover and chill completely in the refrigerator.


Nicole said...

wow these look amazing! I know how much work a cheesecake is, I made my first in december - these look like they taste just as good, but with a little less work? I hope!

KELLY said...

Yes, Nicole. They ARE way less work and taste just like cheesecake. I'm not sure I'll ever make a "real" cheesecake again! ;-)

FoodTherapy4Me said...

Very sweet post...story and cheesecake bars!! My Hubs loves cheesecake too, but I'll admit I've never attempted to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe, these might just do the trick. Congrats on the upcoming wedding too!

Jamie said...

Cute story - and these look awesome. Pretty pretty food;)