Luscious Limoncello Cheesecake Bars
Since I am a fan of both cheesecake and limoncello, the wonderful lemon liqueur from Southern Italy, when I saw this recipe for Limoncello Cheesecake Bars in Giada De Laurentiss' Giada's Family Dinners cookbook I knew I had a winner for our lemon dessert loving family.
I whipped up a batch of these lusciously light and creamy Lemon Cheesecake Bars recently and everyone loved them.
Limoncello Cheescake Bars are subtle, refreshing, decadent and ethereal.
The recipe suggests a biscotti crust, which I am sure would be excellent. However, most purchased biscotti have nuts, something we avoid because of allergies, so I used melba toast that was readily available in my pantry as a replacement.
You should be able to find limoncello at most well-stocked liquor stores.
Limoncello Cheesecake Bars Recipe
This limoncello cheesecake bars recipe instructs you to use a water bath when baking to insure that it maintains its creaminess, which is very important. Directions for baking in a water bath are provided.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 ounces purchased biscotti (or 8 ounces melba toast and 3 tablespoons sugar)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 12 ounce container ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 (8-ounce)packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup limoncello
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons purchased lemon curd (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Spray the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Break the biscotti into pieces and grind them to fine crumbs in the food processor. Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest and process until the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool the crust completely.
- Clean out the food processor bowl and blend the ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and process until well blended, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Add the limoncello, vanilla, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon zest, and lemon curd (if using) and process until well combined.
- Add the eggs and pulse just until blended.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan.
- Create a water bath by placing the baking pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Bake until the lemon cheesecake is golden but the center of the cake jiggles a little when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. (The limoncello cheesecake will firm as it cools.)
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool for 1 hour.
- Refrigerate until the cheesecake bars are cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
- Cut the limoncello cheesecake into desired size bars and serve.
This recipe makes one 9-inch pan of Limoncello Cheesecake Bars.
Recipe for Limoncello Cheesecake Bars is adapted from Giada's Family Dinners
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