Goat Cheese Greek Yogurt Berry Cheesecake Bars!

cut into bars

Everyone likes cheesecake. Really though, have you ever met someone who says they dislike it? Creamy, dreamy, silky, luscious…mmmmmmmm…

I made these as my monthly improv cooking challenge item. Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker produces this awesome monthly challenge. There are two required ingredients each month, and everyone makes something that contains both ingredients (+ anything else that they want to put in it). I LOVE it (1) because it’s really cool to see what people come up with, and (2) it gets my creative juices flowing and pushes me to create new recipes.

This month’s ingredients: Berries and Cream. Berries = any type of berry. Cream = anything with a creamy texture, like sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, actual cream, etc.

And so, these bars were born. They are cheesecake bars, made with neufchâtel cream cheese (which has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese), goat cheese, and fat free greek yogurt; a black and white oreo crust, and strawberry blueberry swirl.

For a more traditional cheesecake, you can make a graham cracker crust instead of the oreo crust; however, I’m a sucker for the oreo crust, and I had to get chocolate into this dessert somehow…

Let’s get started.

Ingredients
Crust:
15 regular oreos
15 golden oreos
1/2 stick butter, melted

Cheesecake:
2 8oz bricks of neufchâtel cream cheese, room temperature
16 oz goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Berry Swirl:
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch, combined with 4 tsp water

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure the foil is long enough to hang over the sides. You’ll use these as handles later. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set it aside.

2) For the crust, put the oreos in a food processor and grind them into a powder. Stir in the melted butter. Press the crust onto the bottom of the baking pan. It’ll look like this:
crust

3) Onto the berry swirl. Slice up your strawberries. Put the strawberries and blueberries into a saucepan. Heat them over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the berries release their liquids.
berries as they cook
Then add in the 1 cup of sugar and the cornstarch-water mixture. Continue to stir for about another 4 minutes, until the mixture has significantly thickened. You can use your judgement here– you don’t want it too watery, but not toooo thick either. It’ll look like this:
berries finished

4) Set this aside and let it cool a bit while you make the cheesecake.

5) Now, onto the cheesecake. Put the cream cheese, goat cheese, and sugar into your mixer (the bowl of a stand mixer, or just a big bowl if you’re using a hand mixer.) Beat on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined. Then add in the eggs and the vanilla. Mix again until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Finally add in the greek yogurt. Mix again until everything is fully combined.
cheesecake batter in mixer

It’s so creamy…
cheesecake batter completed
6) Now, let’s assemble. Scoop out about half of the cheesecake batter on top of the crust layer. Spread it out smoothly.

layer one cheesecake
Then evenly spread on about half of the berry mixture.

layer two berries
Then layer on the rest of the cheesecake, followed by the last of the berry mixture. Finally, take a knife and swirl the bars by dragging the knife lightly up and down. When you’re finished, it’ll look like this:

layers completed and swirled
7) Bake the bars in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

finished bars
8) Cool them completely on a wire cooling rack. Then, cover them and put them in the fridge. Refrigerate them for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Once they’re chilled, use the aluminum foil handles to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Flatten out the foil. Using a long knife, cut the bars. You may have to clean the knife off a few times while you’re cutting them to make a cleaner cut.
cheesecake bars finished layers sideview
See those layers? 🙂

These would be a great treat to bring to a potluck, party, or really any gathering. And if you’re really thinking ahead…they are quite patriotic for the 4th of July!

Enjoy!

cut into bars (2)

 

 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Chaya says:

    I am glad you posted these. I do want to make them. This is the kind of treat everyone loves.

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