Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars {THM:S}

Perfectly lemony cheesecake bars to brighten up your gloomy winter doldrums!

With winter upon us here in the North-woods of Wisconsin, we sometimes need some cheering up and a boost of Vitamin C! What better way than to combine the answer to both needs in a deliciously lemony cheesecake bar!?

One day I had a TON of egg yolks I needed to use PRONTO, so I made lemon curd, which I then stuck in the freezer until I could think of ways to use it besides Lemon Meringue Pie.

Enter these bars…years ago at the bakery where I work we had a cheesecake crumb bar. It wasn’t extremely popular so it was discontinued. I’d completely forgotten about those bars until I was discussing with a coworker about items that we had made in the past and this memory floating to the front of my mind.

As soon as possible I got into my kitchen and made these. It’s one of the few recipes I’ve created that was perfect from the first shot….now if only I could get that to happen more often! 🙂

For zesting lemons, I highly recommend this zester. I use it pretty much on a daily basis between work and home. In fact, I own 2 or 3 of them myself! You need to garnish your pie, whipped cream topped hot cocoa, with beautiful chocolate shavings, etc? You need to pile the Parmesan cheese on your pizza? Your rice pudding needs a bit of fresh nutmeg? You need fresh lemon zest for this recipe? Then this is the right tool for you!! 🙂

Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars

Course: Dessert
Keyword: bars, cheesecake, dessert, lemon, Low carb, sugar free
Servings: 18

Ingredients

Crust & Crumb Topping

  • 1 ½ cups THM Baking Blend
  • ¾ cup oat fiber
  • 1 cup THM Gentle Sweet or desired alternative sweetener of your choice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 fresh lemon, zested
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 – 8 oz. package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
  • 2 cups lemon curd (I recommend this one from Joy & Simplicity.)
  • ½ cup sour cream or nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 egg

Glaze

  • 1 cup Swerve Confectioners Style sweetener, or other powdered sweetener of your choice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced

Instructions

Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 13×9 pan and line with parchment paper and then lightly grease parchment paper.
  • Whisk all crust ingredients in a medium bowl except for melted butter.
  • Add melted butter and mix using a hand mixer on low or a wooden spoon until butter is completely mixed in with no dry spots remaining.
  • Place ½ of crumb mixture in prepared pan and press down firmly. ( I like to use a measuring cup or a tamper to get it pressed down evenly.) Set remaining ½ of crumbs aside
  • Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.

Filling:

  • Whisk Neufchâtel cheese until smooth.
  • Add lemon curd and sour cream and whisk until smooth and evenly mixed, scraping down bowl as needed.
  • Whisk in egg until smooth.
  • Spread Neufchâtel cheese mixture evenly over baked crust. (There’s no need to let the crust cool completely.)
  • Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture evenly over top of cheesecake batter and LIGHTLY pat down.
  • Place in oven and turn oven temperature down to 325°. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly browned and instant read thermometer inserted in center of bars reads 160°.
  • Set aside to cool.

Glaze & finishing:

  • Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth.
  • Once bars are cooled, drizzle glaze over top of bars.
  • Place in refrigerator until chilled.
  • You may cut and serve in pan as-is, or using excess parchment paper as handles, remove chilled bars from pan to cutting board and cut into desired size.
  • Store covered in refrigerator.

Notes

After zesting lemon, juice lemon and set the juice aside to use in the glaze.
If you don’t have parchment paper you can make these without it, it just greatly aids in removal of the bars without sticking and makes the pan MUCH easier to clean.
If you don’t have a fresh lemon available: omit zest from crust. Use 3-4 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice in the glaze.