Layered Cheesecake Lemon Bars

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When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or, even better, make cheesecake lemon bars. This layered treat is ridiculously good. The creamy dreamy cheesecake filling balances the delightfully tart lemon layer. And the crust tastes like shortbread cookies. Enough said.

Layered Cheesecake Lemon Bar Crust CrumbsThis is what the crust should look like before you press it into the pan.  Lemon Halves Cut Along the Long AxisHere’s a quick tip: when you are juicing lemons by hand, cut them in half lengthwise to extract more juice.

Oh, and when you are zesting the lemons, try to avoid the pith (the white part of the lemon peel). The pith adds a bitter flavor. I confess; I learned this lesson the hard way 🙂

Layered Cheesecake Lemon Bars with Raspberries and Whipped CreamIf you’re feeling fancy, plate up the bars with some fresh raspberries, whipped cream, and a dollop of raspberry jam. It’s super pretty and incredibly scrumptious.

Layered Cheesecake Lemon Bars
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Crust
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  3. ½ cup butter, room temperature
Cheesecake Layer
  1. 8 ounces (1 pack) cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Lemon Bar Layer
  1. 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  4. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  5. ½ cup lemon juice
Crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x9 inch pan. Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Blend in butter using a pastry cutter or fork, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the crumbs into the prepared pan. The crust should reach a half-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Cheesecake
  1. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for a few minutes, until it is light and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix just to combine. Slowly add the sugar and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Pour the batter over the crust. Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lemon Bar
  1. Beat the eggs and yolk on medium-low speed until the color lightens to a soft yellow. Add the sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes on low speed. Mix in the flour. Add the lemon zest and juice. Beat on low speed until the filling is thoroughly incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Spoon the lemon filling onto the baked cheesecake layer. It is important to use a light touch here so that the cheesecake layer stays intact. Bake for 22-25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, until the lemon filling is set (a slight jiggle is okay). Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate before serving. Enjoy!!!
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