Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Added on by Monica Cheng.

Well, it's back to school for me (Hellooo, negative degree weather Chicago! How I've missed you.), but over these precious weeks of winter break, I whipped up a delicious dessert to celebrate a special someone's birthday...Caroline's! It's been awesome being friends with you for all these years, and food blogging with you is such a blessing. Happy birthday! It's a new decade of adventures and excitement (:

So let's talk sweets.

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake, because it's sweet, tart, juicy with blueberries, and has a delicious crumb topping. It's irresistible. I don't know how I've made it this far without realizing the perfect combination of blueberry and lemon in a cheesecake.

Enjoy the recipe, and stay warm!

Monica

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction and PowerOfFamilyMeals.com
Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients
For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed

For the Filling:
2 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
1.5 cups fresh blueberries, not frozenf

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

For the Crust:
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until combined. Add flour, salt, baking powder, and oats. Mix until crumbly.

Press half of the oatmeal cookie dough into bottom of prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining half for the cheesecake topping.

For the Filling:
While cookie crust is baking, prepare cheesecake filling. Using a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 egg, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until creamy (no cream cheese chunks).

Remove cookie crust from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour lemon cheesecake filling over the hot cookie crust. Sprinkle blueberries on top and gently press down. Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie dough over the blueberries.

Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Cheesecake filling will jiggle slightly in the center. Allow bars to cool completely, then move them to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight) before cutting. Enjoy!