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Maple Cheesecake Bars

COOK TIME
40 mins
PREP TIME
10 mins
YIELDS
24 bars
RATE THIS RECIPE
(6)
COOK TIME
40 mins
PREP TIME
10 mins
YIELDS
24 bars
RATE THIS RECIPE
(6)

Ingredients

Crust
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
Filling
  • 32 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Pomegranate Compote
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine or pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange sections, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Chef notes

Made with crisp graham crackers, rich cream cheese, tangy sour cream and buttery maple syrup, these maple cheesecake bars are irresistibly decadent. As if that wasn't enough, I added smooth vanilla bean whipped cream and a drizzle of brightly-flavored pomegranate compote.

Technique tip: If properly stored, these bars will keep for up to 5 days. Throw away any bars that have begun to dry out and/or develop tan or brown edges. To freeze, wrap each individual bar in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen cheesecake will keep for up to 3 weeks. Defrost at room temperature for half an hour or in the refrigerator overnight.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with foil, allowing foil to extend over pan edges; coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.

For the crust:

In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar and the salt. Add melted butter; stir to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the filling:

1.

In an extra-large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, maple syrup and 1/2 cup sugar for 2 minutes on medium, until smooth. Add heavy cream; beat until combined.

2.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating on low after each until combined. Add sour cream, flour and vanilla; beat until combined. Pour filling over crust.

3.

Bake about 40 minutes or until center is just set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour. Cover. Chill in pan for 4 hours or overnight.

4.

Use foil to lift uncut cheesecake from pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bars.

For the whipped cream:

1.

Halve a vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape seeds into a large bowl.

2.

Add heavy cream and powdered sugar.

3.

Beat on medium until stiff peaks form (peaks stand straight).

For the pomegranate compote:

1.

In a small saucepan, combine dry red wine (or pomegranate juice) and sugar. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat.

2.

Simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes or until slightly reduced and syrupy. Remove from heat; let cool completely.

3.

In a small bowl, combine pomegranate seeds and fresh orange sections.

4.

Pour syrup over pomegranate seed mixture. Stir in lemon juice.