Lemon Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars

I got a couple really nice lemons at the farmer’s market down the block.  I didn’t have a specific plan for them when I got them, but I had to figure something out because, well, I bought them and they’ll go bad if I don’t.

I looked in my fridge and cabinets – I have a couple cream cheese blocks that will go bad if I don’t use them.

So…lemon cheesecake!  But in bar form, with a sugar cookie crust rather than graham cracker because, well, I don’t have any graham crackers and I really don’t feel like going back to the store  😊

Ingredients

·        1 ½ cups sugar, separated

·        2 t vanilla

·        ½ t ginger

·        1 cup butter, softened to room temperature

·        2 cups flour

·        8 oz (1 block) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature

·        ¼ cup lemon juice

·        1 T lemon zest

Directions

First off, get an 8” or 9” square pan, line it with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.  Then set that aside – we’ll fill it soon.

In a large bowl, add 1 cup of sugar, the vanilla, ginger and the butter and beat with your hand mixer until well blended.  Add in the flour (a bit at a time – if you add it all at once it’ll just fly everywhere and make a mess).  Keep mixing it until that’s well blended.IMG_3544

Spread about 2/3 of the dough in the prepared pan and press it down with your fingers (Don’t worry if it’s not exactly 2/3 – just eyeball it.  The idea is for it to be more than half, but with enough left over to sprinkle on top later).  IMG_3546Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  In the meantime, put the leftover dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.  Take it out of the oven and cool on a wire rack.  FYI, you’re going to want the crust to be completely cool before you fill it.IMG_3547

Making the cheesecake is pretty simple.  Put the cream cheese, ½ cup of sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest into a bowl and mix with your hand mixer until well blended and everything looks creamy.  Pour the batter into the cooled cookie crust and sprinkle the rest of the dough (that you’d stored in the fridge) on top.IMG_3549IMG_3551

Bake at 350 for about a half hour, until the crumbled cookies on top are a nice golden brown color.IMG_3552

And that’s it – this is really simple and I think you’ll like it!IMG_3559

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