If you need a dessert to feed a crowd, here’s one to try. These Chocolate Cheesecake Bars require mainly pantry ingredients and are simple to put together. When making them, be sure to plan on the chilling time. They need to chill at least four hours in the refrigerator, but overnight is best.
If you need a lot, cut them smaller or double the recipe. Use a 10-by-15-inch sided baking sheet. Bake as directed, but plan on about 10 to 15 minutes more baking time. The center should be just almost set. Be sure to cool thoroughly before refrigerating. To serve, cut bars into desired-size squares, but keep in mind these are rich; a small taste is all you need.
Chocolate cheesecake bars
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour (plus chilling time)
This recipe easily doubles.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk (reserve white for filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated orange peel, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings or sprinkles, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line an 11-by-7-inch pan with foil, allowing foil to overhang on short sides of dish; grease the foil.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in egg yolk, vanilla and walnuts. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, flour, orange peel and salt. Beat in egg, egg white and vanilla on low speed just until combined. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.
Garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, lift out of pan and remove foil. Cut into 1-inch to 2-inch squares.
Adapted from tasteofhome.com. Tested by Susan Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis per square.
Nutrition information per serving: 116 calories (64 percent from fat), 8 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 8 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 142 mg sodium, 37 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber.