Thanks to everyone for their sweet thoughts yesterday. I know we all go through weeks like I’m having…with 14 hour work days, little sleep, and way too much coffee. But I’m definitely starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And with weeks like this, it’s always a good idea to treat yourself and those around you (who have to put up with your crankiness).
So let me suggest making these lemon ricotta cheesecake bars. I made them for a Labor Day BBQ last week and was so pleased that everyone enjoyed these wonderful little sweet squares. They’re simple, bright, fluffy, and have wonderful ricotta flavor. Trust me. Your friends will love you for this. And you’ll be so happy to just sit back, relax and enjoy good food with good company.
Ricotta Cheesecake Bars with Lemon Shortbread
For the crust
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
For the cheesecake
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (8-oz) package plain cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz ricotta cheese (I highly recommend fresh from the Farmer’s Market)
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon zest for garnish
Preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8×8″ baking pan.
To make the crust, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in flour, salt and lemon zest until mix is crumbly. Press into the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
While the crust bakes, make the filling. Combine sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese and ricotta in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla until well combined.
Pour filling over hot crust (right when it comes out of the oven) and bake for another 25 minutes or until the filling is set.
Cool completely. Keep refrigerated and wait until serving to slice into bars.
Make these before summer is too far behind us! Ohh also, I think they would be fantastic with orange zest too. Yum. Ok, back to work!
Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hope yours is filled with fun, family, friends, sunshine stripes and barbecue! The snapshot above is really what a perfect holiday weekend would look like for me. I just need to find a pool and then I’m ready!
Easter is one of my favorite holidays. While I’m not religious, to me Easter, like Christmas, is about family and food. (These are probably the two things that are most important to me, and go the most hand in hand.) I feel fortunate that recently I’ve been trusted with not only suggesting holiday menus but contributing to them too. This Easter I made my lemon raspberry cupcakes and this lovely goat cheese cake. This cake is a little more like a sponge cake than a classic cheesecake. It’s not too sweet, but it’s very creamy and goes so well with fresh berries. I also found it very easy to make.
Watch the cake in the oven very carefully. I left mine in for a minute too long and it got a little too dark for me. So I flipped it upside down and filled the natural well in the top (it sunk in a little) with a sweet berry compote. And even with the little mess up, it was still delicious and a big hit. My whole family and my boyfriend loved it. And really, that’s what holidays are all about.
I hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July weekend!
I had an excellent time with friends and family… farmer’s market, shopping, great meals in DC, the Nats game and fireworks on the mall.
For the party I went to, I made this easy no-bake cheesecake with fresh berries. I seriously recommend making this for a summer party. It’s cool, refreshing and so sweet. You can’t see it in these photos, but the best part is definitely the middle layer of mixed berry compote. Oh, the graham cracker crust is pretty fantastic too. Ok, it’s all great.
Happy 4th and happy summer!
No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Pie
1/4 cup cornstarch
2-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup mixed blueberries and raspberries (or really any fruit) + extra for decorating
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/2 sticks butter
2 8-oz packages cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz Cool Whip
In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, 3/4 cup sugar, water and berries over medium heat. Stir until it thickens. Set aside to cool.
Make graham cracker crumbs and combine with butter. Press into pie pan to form crust.
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups sugar and vanilla. Fold in cool whip.
Spread half the cream cheese mixture in the pie pan.
Layer the cooled berry mixture on top.
Top off with the rest of the cream cheese mixture.