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Strawberry Basil Cheesecake Bars

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“I came up with this recipe as a creative way to use some basil. The shortbread crust also provides a different spin on traditional cheesecake bars.”
READY IN:
1hr 30mins
SERVES:
24
YIELD:
1 9x13 pan
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. For Strawberry Basil Sauce:
  2. Place strawberries, 2 T water, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), and a pinch of salt into a sauce pot and bring to boil over medium-low heat.
  3. Whisk 2T water with 1T cornstarch and add to strawberry mixture.
  4. Add basil leaves to strawberry mixture.
  5. Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pot.
  6. Adjust basil, lemon, and sugar amounts to desired levels.
  7. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 1 cup of thick sauce (a little thinner than the consistency of honey).
  8. Let sauce cool.
  9. For Crust:
  10. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
  11. Add the salt and 1 3/4 cup flour to sugar mixture and combine until the dough is well mixed. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to form dough.
  12. With floured hands, dump dough into a greased 9x13 pan and press to form crust.
  13. Let the dough chill for 15-20 minutes (about the time it takes for the oven to preheat).
  14. Bake crust at 350 until barely brown (10-12 min), let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
  15. For Cheese Filling:
  16. Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
  17. Blend in eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  18. To Assemble:
  19. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust.
  20. Drop spoonfuls of strawberry sauce onto the top and use a knife to cut through the cheese layer to create a swirl appearance.
  21. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the outer edges are set, but the middle is still slightly jiggles.
  22. Let cool on the counter before transferring to the refrigerator.

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