Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Isn’t cheesecake the best? I sure think so. What really makes these bars special, aside from the creaminess, is the homemade strawberry jam swirled on the top and the bits of pretzel mixed throughout the graham cracker crust. Divine.

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Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars       Printer-Friendly Recipe

From: Spoonful of Sugar
Makes: About 9 bars

Ingredients

Crust

1/2 cup graham crackers (about 8 sheets)
1/2 cup pretzels
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 melted butter

Cheesecake Filling

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream

Strawberry Swirl

1 cup strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water (mix together to create a cornstarch slurry)

Directions

Strawberry Swirl

Start by making the strawberry swirl. Over medium heat, place the strawberries in a saucepan and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. The strawberries should be juicy and soft. Mash up the strawberries into smaller chunks and add the sugar and cornstarch slurry. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sauce in thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the cheesecake filling and crust.

Crust

Pulse together the pretzels and graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor until the big chunks are gone. Add the melted butter and sugar. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Press the crust into a foil-lined and greased 8″x8″ pan. Set aside.

Cheesecake Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer (or you could use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) to beat the ingredients together until smooth. Now add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Mix in the sour cream until combined.

Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust. Dollop spoonfuls of the strawberry swirl on top of the cheesecake filling. Use a knife to create swirls. You may have some strawberry swirl leftover that you can either serve with the cheesecake bars or smear on toast or spoon over ice cream, you decide. 🙂

Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. The bars will still jiggle a bit in the middle, but the outside should be set. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes before placing in fridge to chill completely, at least a few hours (overnight is even better). Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Add sliced strawberries to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sliced strawberries to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the juice starts releasing from the strawberries, add the cornstarch slurry and sugar.

When the juice starts releasing from the strawberries, add the cornstarch slurry and sugar.

Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Mash the strawberries into small chunks. Set aside.

Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Mash the strawberries into small chunks. Set aside.

To make the crust, add the graham crackers and pretzels to the bowl of a food processor.

To make the crust, add the graham crackers and pretzels to the bowl of a food processor.

Pulse until all of the big chunks are gone.

Pulse until all of the big chunks are gone.

Add the sugar and melted butter.

Add the sugar and melted butter.

Pulse until combined.

Pulse until combined.

Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Press the crust evenly into the bottom.

Line an 8×8″ baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Press the crust evenly into the bottom.

To make the filling, add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice to a large bowl.

To make the filling, add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice to a large bowl.

Beat until combined and then add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

Beat until combined and then add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

Now mix in the sour cream.

Now mix in the sour cream.

Pour the cheesecake on top of the crust.

Pour the cheesecake on top of the crust.

Place spoonfuls of the strawberry swirl on top of the cheesecake.

Place spoonfuls of the strawberry swirl on top of the cheesecake.

Use a knife to swirl it around.

Use a knife to swirl it around.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for roughly 40 minutes. The edges should be set and the center will jiggle a bit. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Then chill in the fridge for a few hours before slicing and serving. I like to make these the day before serving, they keep well in the fridge.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for roughly 40 minutes. The edges should be set and the center will jiggle a bit. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Then chill in the fridge for a few hours before slicing and serving. I like to make these the day before serving, they keep well in the fridge.

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