Oh yeah. These Christmas Cheesecake Bars are pretty much perfection in my life right now!!! Now before you get all in a hissy about too many desserts this time of year, read this on how to stay healthy during the holiday season. Then come back here and we’ll talk tastiness!
Christmas Cheesecake Bars
I used to love cheesecake growing up. It was my default dessert to order anytime we ate out. Of course that was before I switched to being an apple crisp gal!
Nowadays, however, I don’t usually get too excited about cheesecake on menus. It tends to be dried out or covered with some sauce that’s either loaded with weird sugars or includes fruit that have seen better days.
Cheesecake bars on the other hand, are usually a must for me at any sort of get together.
I think cheesecake bars don’t dry out as easily during baking. They always tend to be moist and that crust is just yummy!
This crust – made from gingersnap cookies – is delicious and a flavor I would crave year round – no judgement here!!
Red & Green Toppings
These cheesecake bars would be perfect for any Christmas/holiday gathering without the toppings, but I don’t think you should skip them! I always try to use real food to add festive color to food over any dyes and this may be my favorite combo yet!
You might remember these mini Christmas Tarts from last year. Those cocoa crusts with spiced custard have the arils and mint leaves on top. This year, we added chopped pistachios.
You’ll see a note in the recipe to use raw instead of roasted pistachios if you want to maintain that green color. You could also do a combination of raw and roasted!
CHRISTMAS CHEESECAKE BARS
These perfect little desserts will be a favorite in no time. the gingersnap crust screams the holiday season. And those perfect red and green toppings can't be beat. Delicious, crunchy pistachios combines with pomegranate ariIs for festive fun on these Christmas Cheesecake Bars.
- 2 cups gingersnap cookies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pomegranate arils
- chopped raw pistachios
- mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Place the cookies in a small food processor and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl. Pour in the butter and add the salt. Stir well until the butter has saturated all of the cookie crumbs.
Press the crumbs in a single layer along the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and firm. Set aside.
Add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium until the sugar is blended into the cheese, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix 1 more minute on medium-high, until smooth.
Add the eggs, mix on medium until fully incorporated into the cheesecake filling, about 2 more minutes. Mix in the vanilla.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan, over the crust. Shake the pan gently to spread into an even layer.
Bake 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake an additional 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the cheesecake is firm in the center.
Let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until completely chilled 2 ½ to 3 hours. Cut into squares. Garnish with arils, nuts, and mint, before serving.
Just a note: The reason for using the raw pistachios is so that they maintain their green color. Roasted work well too, but they tend to brown up and look less green when roasted.