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When you're hankering for a slice of cheesecake but want none of the fuss of making it, cheesecake bars are here for you. These rhubarb beauties are made with just six ingredients, take less than an hour to make, and are the perfect thing to curb a weeknight cheesecake craving.
A homemade graham cracker crust and tart, peak-season rhubarb take these bars from good to great. And if that's not enough, a dramatic swirl makes them absolutely gorgeous. It's a fuss-free recipe that's both delicious and seriously impressive.
Achieving picture-perfect swirls of cheesecake batter isn't as hard as you might think. You'll start by pouring all the rhubarb batter into the pan, which you'll top with dollops of the plain cheesecake batter. Then take a toothpick, skewer, or thin butter knife and swirl the batter around to create a marble pattern. It's important that you don't swirl the batters too much, or you might accidentally blend them together rather than swirling them. Once you achieve a nice marbled look, put the toothpick down and resist going any farther.
Makes 16 bars
8 ounces rhubarb (2 or 3 (6-inch) stalks)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 full-size graham crackers (about 6 1/2 ounces), or 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 (8-ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs off two sides to form a sling. Cut 8 ounces rhubarb crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups).
2. Place 6 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power in 10-second increments until melted. (Alternatively, melt on the stove.) Break 12 full-size graham crackers into rough pieces and place in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until the crackers are the texture of sand, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. (If using graham cracker crumbs, just stir the crumbs and butter together in a bowl.)
3. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Wipe out the food processor.
4. Place 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese in the food processor. Process until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and process until incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 2 large eggs. Process until incorporated, about 1 minute.
5. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the filling into a medium bowl. Add the rhubarb and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the remaining filling left in the food processor. Process until the rhubarb is broken down and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
6. Pour the rhubarb filling over the crust. Dollop the reserved plain filling on top (leaving space between each dollop) and swirl with a toothpick or skewer to create a marbled effect.
7. Bake until the top is lightly browned and the center is still slightly jiggly, 30 to 35 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Grasping the parchment, lift the slab out of the baking dish and place onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
Recipe notes: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This article is written by Jesse Szewczyk from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.