All of this gift guide writing made me hungry and I needed a snack, so I am sharing this recipe for the best holiday cranberry cheesecake bars with you today. I am not a pumpkin pie person and this is my go-to dessert every Thanksgiving. It is also great for holiday parties and lets you use any leftover cranberry sauce. You can also make them into individual cheesecakes by using cupcakes liners and a muffing tin. These always go fast in my house, as everyone loves them. They have a buttery, gingerbread crust that sets them apart, in my pinion. I swear by Trader Joe’s Triple Gingersnap cookies for this recipe, but any gingersnaps will work.
THE BEST HOLIDAY CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE BARS
WHAT YOU NEED:
If you have homemade cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving, you can use that. Just put it in a blender with a little water or orange juice to thin it out a bit. Otherwise, you can make a batch.
For the Cranberry Sauce:
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
For the Crust:
24 ginger Gingersnaps, crushed into fine crumbs. I use my food processor.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
1 block of cream cheese at room temperature (very important)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz Greek yogurt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving some overhang on all sides.
Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan.
Cook together until the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture turns syrupy, about 6-7 minutes.
- Let cool and blend.
Combine the gingersnap crumbs and t butter in a small bowl.
- Press into the prepared baking pan. I like to use a glass to really press it down.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, or the mixture will get lumpy. ( I learned this the hard way)
- Add in the Greek yogurt, egg whites, lemon juice, and flour, mixing until just combined.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan and smooth with a spatula.
Drop the cranberry sauce over the cheesecake, and then swirl the cranberry sauce with a butter knife.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cool to room temperature, and chill in the fridge for several hours.
- Cut into squares and serve.