Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
I should really call these Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with Copious Amounts of Fresh Raspberries Not to Mention a Shortbread Crust.
- For the raspberry swirl
- 6 ounces (1 and ½ cups) fresh or frozen raspberries
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup white sugar
- For the crust
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 and ¼ cups all purpose flour
- For the cheesecake
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray. (Or just spray the pan)
- Make the raspberry swirl: In a small saucepan, combine 6 ounces raspberries, ¼ cup water and ¼ cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and then cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-8 minutes, until mixture is thick. (It will continue to thicken as it cools) Set aside to cool completely. I put mine in the fridge.
- Make the crust: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the ½ cup butter and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides.
- Add the salt and flour and combine. It should look like coarse crumbs. It won't come together in a ball, but if you squeeze a bit in your hand it should stick together.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down. I like to use the bottom of a glass for this step. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Remove and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom. Add ½ cup sugar and beat. Add the egg and almond extract, and beat well.
- When the crust has had a few minutes to cool, pour the cheesecake mixture in and spread to the sides.
- Dollop the raspberry mixture on top of the cheesecake. Make sure to leave some white parts visible so that you have a chance to swirl.
- Use a knife to make swirls back and forth across the pan.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are just barely starting to turn golden (just a little bit!!)
- If you have time, turn the oven off and leave the door open for a half hour. This will help your cheesecake not to crack. (Rapid changes in temperature are a part of that.)
- Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours in the fridge, or one hour in the freezer.
- Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice the cheesecake (if you want clean lines). I use a washcloth to wipe off the knife in between slices.