There is quite the debate amongst my taste buds when trying to decide if my favorite dessert flavor is lemon or chocolate. I often think I want chocolate, probably because it goes better with red wine, but then I taste something lemon which proves to be light, refreshing, and completely delicious. I threw the light part in there for those of you who started a new diet goal for 2014! The citrus trees in Arizona are bursting with lemons right now which inspired me to get this recipe dialed in and documented for you to enjoy!
Aren’t these gorgeous? I wish you could smell my hands right now…
Put 2 sleeves of Graham crackers into a food processor or blender and chop until no large chunks remain, this equals approximately 2 cups of crumbs.
Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the crumbs and stir it up.
Melt 1 stick of butter into a 9×13 pan and pour crumbs over the top.
With a fork give it good stir until all the crumbs are evenly moistened.
Press it down with your fingers and palms until the crust is flat. Place crust into the oven and bake for 10 minutes @ 350 degrees. Remove from oven and cool for at least 15 minutes.
While crust is baking – in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 T cornstarch, 1 T freshly grated lemon zest, and 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Pour mixture over cooled graham cracker crust.
Now in a mixer blend together 2 blocks of cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until smooth.
Beat in 2 eggs and then pour into the 9×13 pan over the lemon mixture.
When spreading the cream cheese mixture over the lemon mixture, use caution not to disturb the crust. Spread it as best you can from side to side. The 2 layers will separate during the baking process. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool for 1 hour. When the lemon bars have cooled completely sprinkle with powdered sugar then cut the bars into squares and place them into cupcake wrappers.
Lemon or Chocolate?…. You decide!
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 stick melted butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1 T lemon zest
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 eight oz. packages of cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs with 1/2 cup sugar. (If making your own crumbs crush 2 sleeves of graham crackers in blender or food processor).
- Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9x13 pan (1/2 cup butter).
- Pour crumb mixture over butter and stir with a fork until all crumbs are moist.
- Using fingers and palms press firmly until crust is even and flat from side to side.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove from oven and let cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 T lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice.
- Pour mixture over cooled graham cracker crust and skim any bubbles from the top.
- In a mixer blend together 1 cup sugar with two 8 oz packages of room temperature cream cheese. Once combined beat in 2 eggs.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over the lemon mixture using a rubber spatula. Use caution not to hit the crumbly crust underneath. The 2 layers will separate while baking.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Let cool for 1 hour then dust with powdered sugar.
- Cut into squares and place each square into paper muffin holders.