I found the cutest little bag of Meyer lemons in the produce section of my local grocery store the other day. I have seen several of my fellow bloggers using Meyer lemons in their recipes, but I have never used them before… until now. If you haven’t seen or heard of Meyer lemons, you can find the Wikipedia description of them here. And here’s a photo of the bag I found. Isn’t it cute?
I brought the lemons home, and then began the long process of trying to decide what the first thing would be to make with them. I took a peek inside my refrigerator, and found some strawberries that needed to be used before they took a turn for the worse, and a package of cream cheese. These Strawberry-Lemon Cheesecake Squares turned out to be the perfect fit for the ingredients I had on hand.
The juice of the Meyer lemons is sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons, and when combined with the cream cheese, it makes a wonderfully creamy and slightly tangy cheesecake layer to sit atop the crunchy cookie crust. The strawberries perched daintily on top of the cheesecake layer adds a splash of color, and another touch of sweetness.
I used Nilla wafers for the cookie crust in this recipe, but you could also experiment using a chocolate cookie or graham crackers for the crust. Quick tip: I like to crush cookies for recipes by placing the cookies inside a Ziploc bag, and rolling over the bag with a rolling pin – like so:
Strawberry-Lemon Cheesecake Squares
1 cup vanilla cookies, crushed (approx. 26 cookies)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons butter, cold
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
fresh strawberries, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with cooking spray.
For the Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cookie crumbs and flour. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until crust is set but not brown. Remove from oven.
For the Cheesecake Layer: In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended. Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder. Pour over the warm crust. Top with sliced strawberries.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Move pan to refrigerator and chill. Cut into squares.
(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)
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