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  • Mary Kay

Easy White Almond Bark Cheesecake Bars


Are your taste buds set for a White Almond Bark Cheesecake Bar? This recipe uses a regular cake pan – no springform pan needed. And NO water bath needed for this baking process. It’s a yummy light taste of silky almond flavored cheesecake. Plus, it includes a crust made from Golden Oreos.


I used to make cheesecakes only in springform pans with oven water baths. No need for that with this recipe. This one is much easier and even tastier. The 8”x8” square cake pan makes 25 snack sized mouthwatering tastes, or slice them a little larger for 9 deliciously plated full-sized desserts. (Double this recipe if you want to make a 9”x13” pan.)


Serves 9 - 25.


Prepare your oven:

Set the thermostat on your oven at 350F degrees for baking the crust.

Lower the temp to 325F degrees for baking the entire cheesecake.


Prep your pan:

Line an 8”x8” square cake pan with parchment paper, lightly smearing a little butter on the bottom and sides of the pan and on top of the parchment paper. The parchment paper should flop over all four sides of the pan by about 2” so you can pull the entire cheesecake out after it’s completely cooled.


Gather your Crust Ingredients:

20 Golden Oreo Cookies, crushed

3-4 T Butter, melted


Gather your Cheesecake filling Ingredients:

6 oz White Almond Bark or top quality white chips, melted

12 oz Cream cheese

½ C Sugar

¼ C Brown sugar

2 Eggs

1 Egg yolk

½ C Heavy cream, whipping cream

1 t Vanilla extract

1 t Almond extract


Gather your Ganache Ingredients:

8 oz White Almond Bark or top quality white chips, finely chopped

½ C + 1 T Heavy Cream, whipping cream

Mix and bake your crust:

- Crush the cookies (do not scrape off the inside frosting) into a fine crumb. I usually place the cookies inside a plastic bag and crush them with a wood or metal mallet. I place the bag on a towel on a wooden cutting board (not on the glass top stove - that's a good way to crack more than your cookies!) before pounding the cookies. It’s a chance to take out your frustrations! Some people like to create the crumbs by using a food blender or food processor.

- Melt the butter and pour 3 tablespoons into the cookie crumbs and mix well. You may not need the entire 4 tablespoons since the frosting inside the cookies provide quite a bit of moisture.

- Press the cookie crumb and butter mixture into the parchment paper lined pan. I wrap a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic bag around my hand and press the crumbs with my knuckles.

- Bake the crust @ 350F degrees for 10 minutes.

- Take out of the oven and set aside. Do not chill.


Mix and bake your Cheesecake:

- Melt the white almond bark in the microwave, in 30 second intervals stirring after each time, until melted and smooth. It could take about 60-90 seconds total. Or, melt in double boiler. Set aside to cool a little. Do not refrigerate.

- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.

- Add the sugars and beat until smooth.

- Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

- Fold in the melted white almond bark, drizzling it in slowly.

- Add and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. I always use extracts, not “flavoring.”

- Pour the filling into the crust.

- Bake at 325F degrees for 35 minutes. The center will be a little jiggly. It will set as it cools.

- Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour at room temperature.

- Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours or overnight before covering with the white almond bark ganache.

- Pull the cheesecake out of the pan by lifting with the parchment paper sides. Place the cheesecake on a large cutting board or a larger low-rimmed pan. Fold down the parchment paper and trim it off. This makes it easier to pour the ganache on top and later slice it.

Make the delicious White Almond Bark Ganache:

(If you prefer to use chocolate ganache drizzled on top, in place of the white bark, use the same amount of a top quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. That's what I did this time.)

- After your cheesecake has cooled, start getting your white almond bark ganache ready by chopping and placing the bark bits in a medium bowl and setting aside.

- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then in 15 second intervals until it just begins to simmer. If it’s not hot, heat it a little more. Do not let it boil or it'll create a skin on top and give the cream an "off" taste.

- Pour the hot heavy cream over the white almond bark bits and let set for 2-3 minutes.

- Then stir with a whisk until it’s smooth and glossy.

- Let the ganache cool a few minutes and pour ¼-½ of it over the cheesecake, spreading quickly. Set aside to cool.

- Spread some on top of the cheesecake if you want it spread. Or else drizzle it in pretty patterns on top of the cheesecake.

For piping decorations on the cheesecake, let the rest of the ganache cool about 10 more minutes. However, it will be a little too thin to pipe, so add ¼ cup to ½ cup of sifted powdered sugar, stirring to incorporate. If you think it needs to have a little more powdered sugar, add it.

- Set up your piping bag with a medium to large star tip.

- Scoop the thickened white almond bark ganache into the bag.

- Pipe decorations onto your cheesecake. I arrange the piped stars according to where the bars will be cut so that a piped star is centered onto each piece. If you’re unsure how far apart to pipe the stars, lightly mark the cutting lines with a small sharp knife.

- Chill the cheesecake until the ganache sets. I usually set my entire cheesecake on cutting board, then into the refrigerator to chill. After it’s chilled an hour or so, I set it into a loosely covered pan to keep it from being bumped in the refrigerator while it’s finishing chilling…and to keep it out of site from “cheesecake stealing gremlins.”

- After it's chilled, cut it into slices according to bite sized bits (5 across by 5) or larger pieces (3 across x 3), or diagonals or to your desired sizes.

- Serve with fresh fruit, whipped cream or even ice cream.


Storage:

- I store the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, loosely covered with plastic wrap or in a loosely covered container.

- It's easy to freeze this cheesecake up to one month. Store in a plastic tightly covered container. Or, wrap each slice of cheesecake in plastic wrap and in a sealable plastic bag. That makes for easy grab and go cheesecake bars.


Garnishing options:

- This is a cheesecake that I don’t change with different flavors by your favorite flavors. I like it just as is. But I do like to garnish it with fresh fruit – lemon slices, fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries or red raspberries.

- Garnish it with white chocolate truffles for high-class servings.

- Decorate it with shaved chocolate or white curls.

- Drizzle with warm blueberry or strawberry jam.


Whoever you share this White Almond Bark Cheesecake with or whether you change up the flavors, be sure to “Bake your own Memories!”

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