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Cheesecake Bars with Strawberries and Chocolate Ganache

Cheesecake Bars with Strawberries and Chocolate Ganache
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These delicious cheesecake bars are very easy to make! 
Don’t get all worried about not having a spring-form pan, or knowing who “ganache” is. These fabulous Cheesecake Bars with Strawberries and Chocolate Ganache are going to have you singing happy songs, folks!
The Cheesecake Bars should be made a day in advance and left to chill out in the fridge. You can easily make the ganache ahead of time as well, and then just reheat it a 
bit when you are ready to serve.
Slice up your berries and…..
Beauty for your eyes!
 Beauty on your pallate!
You can serve them on a plate after a fabulous dinner, or you can put them in cupcake holders for serving on a dessert bar.
Lots of possibilities here!
Cheesecake Bars with Strawberries and Chocolate Ganache
Time: Cheesecake bars: 1 hour + overnight to refrigerate
          Ganache: 10 minutes 
Yield: 12 large pieces, or 36 small pieces
Recipe adapted from Kraft Foods
CRUST
2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C sugar
6 T butter, melted
1/8 t cinnamon
dash salt
 
CHEESECAKE FILLING
 4  8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1 C sour cream
4 eggs
 
CHOCOLATE GANACHE
12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
12 oz whipping cream
dash salt
1/4 t vanilla
 
1 pound strawberries, sliced thin
mint leaves (optional)
 
CRUST
1. Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil.  
2. In a small mixing bowl combine all crust ingredients together. Press into the bottom of your pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
CHEESECAKE FILLING
1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium sized mixing bowl with electric beaters, or in your handy dandy Kitchen Aid until well combined.
 2. Add the sour cream and mix well.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on low after each one is added. Only mix the eggs in until they are combined. Don’t over do it here.
4. Pour the filling over the top of the crust.
5. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. I always place a pan (another 9×13) of water on the rack below the cheesecake. This will help the bars not crack down the middle. They may still crack just slightly at the sides…don’t sweat it. All will be well. You can pour the ganache right over the top. Take the the cheesecake out when the center is almost set. 
6. Let it cool completely on your counter, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
 
CHOCOLATE GANACHE
 Our Best Bites has a great tutorial on ganache I would recommend you read, if you are nervous about making Mr. Ganache.
 
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the chocolate chips and the whipping cream. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval. You might get a bit worried here while you are stirring. It’s going to look kind of strange….be patient. Wait for the beauty! Just keep stirring and heating it. Add the vanilla and dash of salt once the chocolate and cream have joined. It will be thin, and then magically once the chocolate and cream are blended it will begin to thicken. The longer it sits the thicker it will become. If you want to make it a day ahead you can store it in the fridge and then just heat it up a bit when you are ready to serve.  
To serve just use the tin foil to lift the Cheesecake up and out of the pan. Lay them on your counter and cut them into pieces. Use a sharp knife. The cheesecake will get pretty goopie on the knife. Just keep a warm wet cloth handy and wipe the knife off when you need to.
Top with the ganache and berries and serve! Enjoy the beauty!
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9 Comments

  1. 1
    July 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Jamie – It has been forever since I've been here! I love your picts. I can't wait till my kitchen is finished so I can prepare meals again…we are in the middle of a huge remodel!

    I started following on facebook to keep in touch more! :)

    Blessings to you,
    Lana @ ilovemy5kids

  2. 2
    July 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Jamie – It has been forever since I've been here! I love your picts. I can't wait till my kitchen is finished so I can prepare meals again…we are in the middle of a huge remodel!

    I started following on facebook to keep in touch more! :)

    Blessings to you,
    Lana @ ilovemy5kids

  3. 3
    July 29, 2010 at 7:10 am

    You always take such pretty pictures of your food. Wish mine looked that good. *sigh*

    Me and my daughter love cheesecake, and these look yummy.

  4. 4
    July 29, 2010 at 7:11 am

    PS: What kind of camera do you use?

  5. 5
    July 29, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    You had me at ganache :)

  6. 6
    July 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Now, while the cheesecake looks divine, I wanted to thank you for the first part of your post. It calmed me. I think that's the best way to describe it! Life is a journey, and a hard one at that. thank you for the reminder of who is really in charge!

  7. 7
    July 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts. I totally agree. The struggles stink, but they make us who we are, and teach us to appreciate the blessings! By the way, I almost licked the computer screen, the cheesecake looks that good!!!! I know what I am making for dessert this Sunday!

  8. 8
    July 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    I loved reading your post today- it put a smile on my face. Those bars though will probably put something else on my hips. Oh well…I don't have a lake to look out on, but I'm sure I can find a hill to climb! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. 9
    July 30, 2010 at 4:31 am

    April,
    Thanks for your kind words about my photos. I inherited the camera I use from my father in law when he passed away. I really don't know much about it other than it's some kind of Sony…and is about 7 years old. I feel lucky to have it, though it is old as the hills. Sorry for the lack of info. Wish I could be of more help. The Pioneer Woman has a lot of great food photography info on her site that has helped a lot too. Good Luck!
    ~Jamie

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