July 14, 2008

Lemon Cheesecake Squares

So I’ve never made cheesecake before. It’s one of those baking things that terrifies me. What if I do all the work and then I pull it outta the oven and the top is all cracked??? That would suck. I get really discouraged when things don’t work out. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep trying…there’s just a long period of time before I put my fork back in the socket again.

A few baby steps later, I tried this simple recipe from EVERYDAY FOOD.

Three words:


It will make those of you (like me) get over your hang-ups about making cheesecake. I think I might be ready to be a big girl and try an authentic NY cheesecake. Perhaps I will do when I lose the 5lbs I gained after eating it!

I think my unborn fetus looooved it.

lemon cheesecake squares

Lemon Cheesecake Squares


Makes 16

– 8 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

– 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 large eggs
– Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons zest and about 3 tablespoons juice)

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Crimp overhang under rim of pan.

2. In a food processor, blend graham crackers with sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until moistened.

3. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently (wipe processor bowl clean, and reserve for making filling). Bake until beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While crust is baking, make filling.

4. Make the filling: Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice; blend until smooth.

5. Pour mixture onto hot crust in pan; smooth top. Return to oven, and bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken), 30 to 35 minutes.

6. Cool completely in pan. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan. With metal spatula, lift cheesecake from foil; cut into 16 squares. (I think I ended up with less. The bigger the better!)

***If the top was all crumbly and cracked I would have put a layer of glazey blueberry spread on top….or some powdered sugar? Looks like I lucked out—and didn’t have to use an alternative. Hope you enjoy it too! ***

  • Patricia Scarpin

    Well, I think that now I am officially the last person who has never made cheesecakes!
    Tracy, these are delicious!

  • Anali

    Oh these look so good! And I like the new header too. : )

  • kickpleat

    i’ve only made cheesecake once and i think now is the time to try again. looks definitely dreamy!

  • Jen

    I am also terrified of cheesecake–my best friend makes it perfectly and it’s totally intimidating. I think I’ll def try this!

  • Tracy

    Patricia- there are soo many people who have never made cheesecakes! Make one and then you will be off the list! 😉

    Thanks anali! I thought i needed a bit of a change

    kickpleat & jen- do it! it’s easy peasy.

  • Heather

    I made this over the weekend. It’s so easy and tastes delicious. I will definitely take these cheesecake squares to my next party. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • reya

    Oh yum Tracy!
    I think I’ll be making this tonight. I’ve got some graham crackers left over from my last tart and a bowlful of citrus fruits I have no idea what to do with.

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