Cranberry Walnut Cheesecake Bars

9 servings
45 min prep time
1 hr 45 min total time

These deliciously rich cheesecake bars are slightly less labor intensive than traditional cheesecake; the addition of thick, decedent crème fraîche, they are the perfect addition to any holiday dessert roster or bake sale!

Ingredients

For the Cranberry Puree

6 oz fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 orange, zest

For the Crust

3/4 cup walnuts

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

9 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Cheesecake

16 oz full-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Cook cranberry puree by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Use a whisk or spoon to help break down the cranberries.

  • STEP 2

    Once cooked, place a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and, using a spatula, squeeze through all of the liquid and dispose of the solids. Let cool at room temperature.

  • STEP 3

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

  • STEP 4

    In a food processor, combine the walnuts, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Pulse until the mixture resembles a fine sand and the walnuts are completely pulverized. Pour in butter and pulse until it comes together. Press the crust firmly and evenly into the pan.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile in a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese over medium-low speed for 1 minute. Do not use a higher speed, or you will incorporate too much air into the batter. Scrape the cream cheese from the sides of the bowl halfway through mixing. 

  • STEP 6

    Add in the crème fraîche, powdered sugar, and vanilla, beating for 30 seconds.

  • STEP 7

    Add in the eggs, one by one, beating until fully incorporated.

  • STEP 8

    Pour batter over crust. Drizzle the cranberry puree on top. With a skewer or chopstick, make a swirl pattern.

  • STEP 9

    Bake for 45-55 minutes. The cheesecake should be slightly puffed, but should not be golden. Jiggly is ok! It will continue to cook as it cools.

  • STEP 10

    Allow to cool for 1 hour before placing into fridge to cool completely, about 3 hours more. Cut into bars and serve!

Broma Bakery

Broma Bakery_Image

Broma Bakery

Sarah Fennel is a professional photographer, food writer and baker. Her love of food is showcased on her blog, Broma Bakery, and has lead to opportunities to work with people and businesses who share her passion for eating and living well. She has been profiled by Yahoo and Boston.com, and her photography has been featured in magazines, restaurants, and cookbooks. When she's not dreaming up recipes, she enjoyes practicing yoga and going out to eat with her boyfriend, Alex. She lives in Detroit. To learn more about Sarah, visit her blog, Broma Bakery.