Happy September guys! Are you ready for it? Well, hold your pumpkins because I’m still lost somewhere in berry land. Don’t worry, I already have some new fall desserts in the works that we can dive into while we talk about our skinny jeans getting snug soon enough. For now, I’m smitten with blueberries, even more so when they get friendly with cheesecake.
So I feel like I should come clean right from the get-go and tell you I have a love/hate relationship with these bars. I knew I would like them, but I didn’t plan on loving them 10 times more than I ever thought possible. So while that’s fabulous and all, it also means you’re looking at last night’s dinner. If you’re following along on Instagram, you know one made an appearance with my coffee this morning too. What was that I mentioned about skinny jeans?
You see I’m funny when it comes to fruit in dessert. Sometimes I’m all about it, like apples. Apples in everything, please. Sometimes, not so much. Like my raspberry cheesecake. I make that with raspberry puree because I don’t dig the fresh raspberries in it. I wasn’t really sure how this would go, but all I have to say is bring on the blueberries.
Oh, and here I am going on and on forgetting to tell you about the best part; well besides that whole cheesecake thing. The crust is an oatmeal cookie. Yes, a warm, inviting, soft baked oatmeal cookie tucked under a blanket of cheesecake studded with sweet, plump blueberries. Now you see why they’re so blissful? And let’s not forget about the blueberry compote to spoon on top. Talk about the icing on the cake!
Once you cut into them, you’ll notice some of the blueberries burst while baking, giving off this gorgeous deep purple color. So pretty, you almost won’t want to eat them. Who am I kidding, that’s what instagram and facebook are for.
So there you have it. A pretty sweet way to end summer if I do say so myself. Whether to eat these for dessert, dinner, or breakfast? I’ll leave that up to you.
Classic cheesecake gets a sweet upgrade with fresh blueberries and bourbon. Baked on top of a cozy oatmeal cookie and topped with a lush blueberry compote, these cheesecake bars are always a hit!
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. bourbon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 & 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste, or extract
- 1 tbsp. bourbon
- 6 ounces (about a generous 1 cup) fresh blueberries
- 10 ounces blueberries (about a pint)
- 2-3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. bourbon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8x8-inch pan with non-stick pan spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang so you can easily lift the bars out. Spray once more and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add egg, bourbon and vanilla, and continue mixing until combined.
- Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda, mixing just until combined.
- Stir in in oats and press dough evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake cookie crust for 18-20 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Set aside on cooling rack.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream cream cheese, granulated sugar and light brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add eggs, vanilla and bourbon, and continue mixing on medium speed, scraping the bowl down to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Stir in blueberries, reserving 2 tbsp. to sprinkle on top.
- Pour batter on top of cooled cookie crust and sprinkle with remaining blueberries.
- Bake at 325 degrees for about 38-40 minutes until set. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once cheesecake bars have cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- In a medium sauté pan, add blueberries, sugar and lemon juice, tossing to coat. Cook over medium heat until berries start to break down and release their juices, about 6-8 minutes.
- Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat to low, add bourbon and simmer for about 3-4 minutes until mixture reaches desired consistency.
- Transfer berry compote to a medium size bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When ready to cut the bars, use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
- For clean and smooth edges: Run your knife under hot water, wipe with a clean kitchen towel and cut. Repeat for each cut.
- Top squares with chilled compote and serve. Enjoy!