It’s a big day on the blog. I still can’t believe it myself, but Mommie Cooks officially turns two today. Considering that I began this little project on my own birthday, I am also officially celebrating my 30th year. For the 6th time. Ok, ok fine, for the 8th time. A girl is allowed to fudge her age once in a while, right?
It’s difficult to even remember life before this little adventure. It has filled my days in so amazing many ways. Some were anticipated, but most were beyond what I ever could have imagined. Two years and 310 posts later, this blog has become a part of me that I cherish. I look forward to continuing to grow and nurture it for many years to come.
I’m going to start off year three with a recipe that was inspired by a flavor of ice cream that had me at hello. What’s that? You say ice cream can’t talk? Well, this one did. I was wandering down the aisle of the frozen food section at my good friend Trader Joe’s, minding my own bees wax when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a quart of Lemon Gingersnap ice cream. I gave it a hard ponder and decided to walk on by. This chica doesn’t need another sweet gracing her house. But then it happened. As I was reaching for a bag of frozen spinach (clearly feeling guilty for even pondering such a sugar laced idea), I heard it. The ice cream distinctly said, “Hello. You know you want to try this fun flavor combination.”
Dang it. The ice cream was right. I would have never thought to pair gingersnaps with lemon. So I relented and adopted my very own taste pleasing bucket. I have to say, there is nothing more magical than that first spoonful of a symphony of flavor that is just meant to be together. I seriously could have eaten the entire quart. Good thing I purchased the talking version so it could tell me to knock it off and put it back in the ice box before I got carried away.
These bars are a tribute to the new addition in my freezer. They blend together the bright flavor of lemons with the sweet and rustic taste of gingersnaps for an after meal treat that’s sure to satisfy.
Begin by putting together a simple gingersnap crust. I baked up Smitten Kitchen’s homemade version and used those, but store bought works just as well.
Next up you’ll put together the makings of a cheesecake layer. Because EVERYTHING tastes better with a little cheesecake in the middle.
Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust and cook it up until it’s no longer jiggly; about 20 minutes. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get rid of our own jiggly with a mere 20 minutes and some mild heat?
Finally, you’ll whip up a little homemade lemon curd. I’m surprised this stuff made it onto the dessert the way I was spooning it into my mouth.
Begin by mixing together a handful of eggs, some sugar and a few lemons worth of juice. Heat it up in a double boiler until thick and then remove from the stove and strain to assure ultimate smoothness.
Add in a little butter, some vanilla and a pound or so of lemon zest and you’re done. Cover and let it cool in the fridge.
When it’s fully chilled, pour it over the top of the cheesecake layer and you’re finished.
Let’s hope these bars can talk as well, because I don’t see myself putting this pan of delicious away any time soon.
Ginger Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Yield: 20 Single Serving Bars
Total Time: 45 min
For the Crust:
3 1/2 Cups Gingersnaps, Ground up
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted
For the Cheesecake Filling:
8 Oz. Cream Cheese
1 8 Oz. Can Almond Paste
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
For the Lemon Curd:
1 Cup Sugar
6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix together the cookie crumbs and the butter. Press it down into a 9x13" pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely.
Cream together the cream cheese, almond paste and sugar.
Add in the eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Pour over the cooled crust and toss back in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool.
Zest the four lemons and reserve for later.
Mix together the juice from the lemons, the sugar and the eggs.
Place the mixture in a double boiler and cook, whisking constantly, until it thickens You'll want a consistency just below pudding.
Remove it from the heat and add the butter in small chunks along with the vanilla.
Cover and place in the fridge until cooled.
Spread over the top of the cheesecake layer and chill until ready to serve.