• Susie Csorsz Brown

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars

Yeah, so every once in a while we like to make desserts that are not exactly healthy. That's okay! Remember: all foods are okay, amounts may be inappropriate, and, importantly, having some quality desserts and S A V O R I N G that piece will go a lot farther with your mental well-being than if you feel guilty about having a slice or grouchy and deprived because you didn't have any. So. Have a small slice, enjoy it, and feel good knowing that you made something wonderful and your family will definitely appreciate it!


These cheesecake bars are a mash-up between the flavors we love in cinnamon rolls PLUS cheesecake: cinnamon, cream cheese, and graham crackers. All that goodness in one hand-held treat. Definitely use your blender here; it will create the most smooth batter, plus save your arm muscles from heavy whisking. On the other hand, this could be your upper body workout for the day! For best result, make sure your ingredients are at room temperature prior to starting to mix.


Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars


Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients


Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 1/2 sleeves in fine crumbs)

6 T unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp cinnamon

small pinch of salt


Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 T Vanilla

Cinnamon Swirl

4 T unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup dark brown Sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

small pinch of salt

1/8 - 1/4 cup flour, depending on how much you need for your swirl


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment or aluminum foil (for easy clean up and cutting); set aside.


Make crust:

In a bowl, combine the melted butter, graham crackers, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until it resembles wet sand. Press into prepared baking dish and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool; reduce the oven temperature to 325.


Make filling:

In a blender (preferably one that is high speed, but you can use a regular blender, too), combine the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla and blend until smooth. Scrape sides of the blender container, and add the sour cream and blend for 5 seconds until smooth again. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each one until smooth. Scrape sides of container one more time, and finish blending 5 - 7 seconds.


Make Cinnamon swirl:

Stir the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour together until smooth.


Assemble the bars:

Pour half of the filling over the crust, dot with cinnamon swirl and carefully swirl with a knife. Try not to let your knife dip into the crust on the bottom, keeping the swirls to the cream cheese and swirl only.

Repeat filling and swirling one more time. Lightly rap the pan on the counter to evenly distribute the filling.


Bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes or until the middle doesn't jiggle too much. Cool on a wire rack the counter for 30 minutes and then refrigerate two hours to set. Enjoy!



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