Strawberry Cheesecake Bars




Strawberry season is on it’s way!

Yield: 9 cheesecake bars

You will need:

For the cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could also substitute for lemon extract)
For the purée:
1 to 1 & 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped 2 tablespoons sugar
For the crust:
15 Oreos 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 pan with butter or line with parchment paper. For the crust: put Oreos in a food processor and blend until Oreos become dust like crumbs. In a medium sized bowl, melt butter. Combine the Oreo crumbs with the butter and mix until combined. Press the crust mixture into the 9×9 pan creating an even layer along the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. For the cheesecake filling: While the crust is baking we will work on the cheesecake. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth (another 2 minutes). When the crust is out of the oven, pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and spread to form an even layer. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered. After 30 minutes, remove the cheesecake from the oven and cover it with foil to prevent it from getting too golden brown on top. Place the cheesecake back in the oven and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool until the cheesecake is room temperature. Then it can go in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. For the strawberry purée: You can make the purée while the cheesecake bakes. Blend strawberries until smooth. Use a sieve to filter out the smooth purée from the seeds. Mix the smooth purée with sugar to sweeten the mixture. Set aside until serving. When ready to serve, cut into bars and top with purée and a fresh strawberry, enjoy!