Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Cranberry Cheesecake Bars


Tart, tangy, and sweet, these cheesecake bars are sandwiched between a pastry crust that just happens to be super-easy to make.
  • 2¾ c. (285 g.) frozen cranberries (1 [10-oz.] bag)
  • ½ c. (100 g.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • ¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. (150 g.) granulated sugar, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cranberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and juice, spice mix, and salt to a boil, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to bottom of pan. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until cranberries burst and sauce is thickened to a jammy consistency, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and ½ cup granulated sugar until smooth and well combined.
  5. Grease a 13"-by-9" baking pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a 2" overhang on both long sides. Spray parchment with cooking spray.
  6. Unroll 1 can of dough and press into bottom of prepared baking pan, pinching seams closed and stretching dough to edges. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Dollop cranberry filling over cream cheese mixture.
  7. Unroll remaining can of dough and pinch seams together. Place over top of cranberry and cream cheese filling and stretch to edges of pan. Brush with butter, then sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar.
  8. Bake bar until top is golden brown, 28 to 32 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  9. Using parchment overhang, lift bars out of pan. Cut into 12 bars and serve at room temperature, or chill and serve cold.

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