I would be lying if I said I did not stuff myself while putting this blog post together. It is imperative to do this to make sure one’s readers have the best possible recipe. That is my story and I’m sticking to it. These bars have it all and then some. Sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy all rolled into one bite. I could not stop myself and hope you feel the same. The other plus is that they are a cinch to make. Come on along and I’ll prove it.
Like all good cheesecakes, these bars begin with a graham cracker crust. Just pulverize the crumbs by whichever method you prefer. This could include a food processor if you have one, or if not, grab the nearest rolling pin or hammer, put the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, and start pulverizing until crumbs appear. I find this method particularly therapeutic after spending an afternoon with my mother. You’ll need a 13×9 inch baking dish, which you will spray with cooking spray, line with foil with a 2 inch overlap (future handles for removing from the pan), and spray again. Toss in the crumbs, melted butter and sugar mix, and smoosh down. Check out the little trick below: A small glass jar works wonders in getting your crumbs into corners and up along the edges. If you are a crunchy crust type of person, this will pay major dividends in the finished product.
This needs to bake for 10 minutes just to set up, and in the meantime you can rinse out your food processor or grab a mixer, and put your cheesecake mixture together. Just beat until mixed – easy as pie. When your crust comes out of the oven, go right ahead and pour in your cheesecake batter. No need to wait: in about 20-25 minutes he’ll be all ready for the next phase. To tell whether he’s done or not, just jiggle the baking dish. If all looks solid, you are good to go.
While the cheesecake is baking, take a few minutes and get your topping ready. This involves a couple of cups of Macadamia nuts, chopped. You can see I leave some larger pieces and some smaller. I like them small enough so that when you cut into your bars, huge nut parts do not tear up your slice and you get a nice, clean cut. However, if you are like me and eat it as fast as it can be cut, aesthetics take a back seat so please do not fret if things aren’t just perfect when all is said and done. Mix with your other topping ingredients and spread over the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake part cool for about twenty minutes before attempting this so your cake is firmly set and the topping does not sink into it. This would not be earth shattering, but looks better if you wait.
Toss him back in the oven for about twenty minutes. If the edges are bubbling, the top is a nice golden brown, and it passes the ‘no jiggling’ test (meaning that if you jiggle the baking dish, topping does not swoosh back and forth but stays firm), you are good to go. ….check it out:
This is the most difficult part of the recipe. You cannot/should not/please don’t eat it yet. Really, it is not a good idea with all of that molten bubbling going on. He has to cool to room temperature, and then be refrigerated until cool. Then you can take him out, pull off the foil, and start slicing. You’ll want a knife with a thin blade to make the cleanest cuts. Wipe off your knife after each cut with a damp paper towel to avoid ‘cheese drag’ and you will have a grand result!
You will be the hit of your next gathering. But before anybody else shows up — dive on in. You earned it!
I’d like to say this recipe was all my idea, but it was not. It has been mildly adapted in ingredients and method from the ‘Table for Two’ Cooking and Travel Blog. Julie has created the perfect taste and texture of the ultimate bar, so please take a look at her blog, as well as her original recipe: www.tablefortwoblog.com
Then go to ‘Categories’ and ‘Desserts’ , then finally to ‘Bar Cookies’. You’ll find Julie’s recipe as well as many other delicious ideas.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend my friends!! xoxoxo
- 1 ½ cups (about 14 double crackers) graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 2 cups Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch-baking pan with cooking spray, then line with aluminum foil. Make sure you have a 2-inch overhang on the long ends. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 6 tablespoons melted butter. If you don’t have a food processor, just place the graham crackers into a Ziplock bag and remove your aggressions by pulverizing with a rolling pin or other similar object of destruction. Press crumbs into bottom of baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Again using your food processor (or a stand mixer or hand mixer), beat together cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla extract and flour. Pour on top of graham crust and bake for about 25 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
- While cheesecake mixture is cooling, mix chopped Macadamia nuts, corn syrup, ¼ cup melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Spread this mixture over the cheesecake mixture.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until set and golden brown with sides bubbling. Remove from oven and when cooled to room temperature, refrigerate until cold. Cheesecake must chill thoroughly to set up for proper slicing.