Ever since I can remember, raspberries have always been my favorite fruit in the whole wide world. Cherries come in at a close second, followed by strawberries and blueberries. But raspberries totally come out a clear winner. Always have, always will.
As for desserts, cheesecake clearly sits at the very top of that list, without even any close second.
Why I never thought of bringing the two of them together and create something like these White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars before now is totally beyond me.
In fact, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Ashley of Baker by Nature’s recipe for a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake that the idea of pairing those 2 favorites of mine started to take form in my mind. And then, a few days later, I got Ashley’s recipe for Blackberry Cheesecake Bars delivered right to my email inbox.
That was more than I could handle!
At that point, I just couldn’t wait any longer and had to experience that magical union, right then and there! As luck would have it, raspberries also happen to be in season in my part of the world. They had just gone on sale at my local grocery stores and were going for a ridiculously low price, so I’d practically bought a truckload!
But then, I was faced with a very serious problem: I just didn’t know which recipe to make! Both looked so incredibly delicious! I loved the idea of adding white chocolate to the cream cheese batter, but I equally loved the idea of using Oreo cookies for the crust! To solve this very crucial dilemma, I decided to merge the two recipes together, and to also throw a little bit of my White Chocolate Lime Cheesecake into the mix.
And then, I took another very important decision: even though I had my fridge full of fresh, juicy raspberries, I eventually opted to use frozen raspberries instead. Why? Because I find frozen fruits tend to release a little bit more liquid as they thaw, so they would give me a little bit more raspberry puree for the same amount of effort… but mainly, I think it’s just that I couldn’t bring myself to “waste” my favorite fruits by turning them into a puree. Raspberry season doesn’t last long and I much preferred eating them fresh, by the handful, straight out of the container.
That’s by far my favorite way of enjoying them!
Using frozen fruits also means that I (or you!) can make these White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars anytime of year; no need to wait until raspberries are in season. That said, you could very well use fresh fruits if you preferred to. They would work just as well.
Besides, fresh have a clear advantage over frozen when it comes to garnishing!
I don’t think I need to tell you that these Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and that I fully intend on making them again, and again, and probably again, too!
And eventually, I just know that I’ll have to try the totally drool-worthy“original-full-on-cheesecake-version“, and when that happens, of course I will have to share with you!
Until then, I strongly recommend that you give these babies a go. The combination of the sweet, buttery and crunchy Oreo cookie crust, the silky smooth, creamy and slightly tangy white chocolate cheesecake and the refreshingly-tasty-and-super-crazy-elegant swirl of raspberry puree will totally rock your world, I swear!
Step-by-step instructions with pictures immediately follow recipe
- 30 (350g | 12.4oz) Oreo cookies, broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup (120g | 4oz) butter, melted
- 3- (227g | 8oz) packages full fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (240ml | 8oz) sour cream
- 1 cup (200g | 7.1oz) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup (150g | 5.25oz) white chocolate, melted
- 1-1/2 cup (165g | 5.8oz) frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup (50g | 1.8oz) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- White chocolate shavings
- Fresh raspberries
- Fresh mint leaves
- Combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the raspberries are completely reduced to a puree.
- Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then force it through a fine meshed sieve to catch all the seeds and pulp.
- Set aside to cool completely while you work on the crust and filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Grease and line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on either side for easy removal of the bars.
- Place the oreo cookies and melted butter in the bowl of your food processor; process until reduced to fine crumbs. Press the mixture firmly at the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Set aside.
- Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, lemon juice and vanilla seeds in the well rinsed bowl of your food processor. Process until the mixture get super smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop the motor to scrape the sides once or twice to make sure every last bit gets incorporated.
- Add the eggs and corn starch and resume beating until well incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- While the motor is running, pour the melted white chocolate through the feeding tube and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture over the reserved crust and spread it all the way to the sides.
- Delicately drizzle the raspberry mixture all over the top of the cheesecake batter with a spoon and then, make little swirls in the mixtures with the help of a wooden skewer. Do not go all the way to the bottom with that skewer so you don't end up damaging the crust.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden brown around the edges and jiggles ever so slightly in the center if you shake the pan a little.
- Kill the heat, leave the oven door ajar and leave the cheesecake bars in there to cool until you can safely handle the pan with your bare hands.
- Let the bars cool completely at room temperature and then place them in the fridge until they are completely chilled, at least 2 hours but preferably overnight, before attempting to cut them.
- When ready to serve, delicately lift the bars from the pan by pulling on the parchment paper overlaps and place them onto a large cutting board. Then, cut the bars with a sharp knife, wiping the blade clean between each cuts.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries, fresh mint leaves and a few shavings of white chocolate, if desired.
- Keep any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS AND PICTURES
STEP 1 – MAKE THE RASPBERRY SWIRL
Combine the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan;
I chose to use frozen raspberries, but like I said earlier, you could also use fresh. They may yield a little bit less puree as they may not release quite as much liquid as the frozen ones, but you would still have plenty to go, don’t worry.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the raspberries are completely reduced to a jam-like puree.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then force it through a fine meshed sieve to catch all the seeds and pulp.
This step isn’t absolutely mandatory, but I strongly recommend that you go through with it. While I have nothing against raspberry seeds in general (except for when I have one that’s annoyingly stuck between my teeth and obstinately refuses to abandon its hiding place) I think that they would somewhat ruin the lusciously smooth and silky feel that these cheesecake bars have in your mouth.
I agree, the process is a bit strenuous but trust me, it’s entirely worth it.
This is pretty much all that should be left behind when you’re done pushing down all that raspberry “jam”.
Make sure you don’t forget to scrape the underside of your sieve: there will be A LOT of that smooth puree trapped in the fine mesh.
This, is the beautifully smooth and silky, ruby red raspberry puree that you will be left with when all is said and done. It may not look like much, but it will be more than enough.
Resist the urge to eat it all by the spoonful, though; just set it aside to cool while you work on the crust and filling and try to forget that it even exists…
STEP 2 – MAKE THE CRUST
Then, place the Oreo cookies and melted butter in the bowl of your food processor;
Process until the cookies are reduced to fine, wet crumbs.
Press this mixture firmly at the bottom of the prepared baking pan and set aside.
STEP 3 – MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
Combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, lemon juice and vanilla seeds in the bowl of your food processor.
It might be a good idea to rinse it first, so you don’t end up with all kinds of cookie crumbs in your cheese batter. The only black specks that I want to see in mine are those of the vanilla beans! I love those so much, I use fresh vanilla every chance I get mainly because of that. Well, and also because of their unbeatable flavor, of course.
If you didn’t have fresh vanilla beans, however, feel free to use pure vanilla extract, instead: a teaspoon or two will definitely do the trick.
Process until the mixture get super smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop the motor to scrape the sides once or twice to make sure every last bit gets incorporated.
Now add the eggs, all at once…
…followed by the 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
Resume beating until the newcomers are well incorporated, about 30 seconds.
While the motor is running, pour the melted white chocolate through the feeding tube and mix until fully incorporated.
My favorite method for melting white chocolate, or any kind of chocolate for that matter, is in the microwave.
What you need to do is chop your chocolate super finely and then place it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then, let it rest undisturbed for 30 seconds and finally, stir delicately for 30 seconds. If there are still lumps of unmelted chocolate left after that, repeat the process but for 20 seconds this time, and continue doing that until the chocolate is completely melted but not hot to the touch.
STEP 4 – MAKE THE WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE BARS COME TOGETHER
Pour the white chocolate cheese mixture over the reserved crust and spread it all the way to the sides.
The batter will be fairly runny, so there shouldn’t be much spreading to be made; maybe just give your pan a little shake and a gentle tap or two to help smooth the top.
Now grab a spoon and delicately drizzle that beautiful raspberry puree all over the top of the cheesecake batter.
Make little swirls in the mixtures with the help of a wooden skewer. Try not to make contact with the bottom with that skewer, else you might end up damaging the crust.
Bake the bars for about 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden brown around the edges and jiggles ever so slightly in the center if you shake the pan a little. Kill the heat, leave the oven door ajar and leave the cheesecake bars in there to cool until you can safely handle the pan with your bare hands.
Let the bars cool completely at room temperature and then place them in the fridge until they are completely chilled, at least 2 hours but preferably overnight, before attempting to cut them.
When ready to serve, or when you can’t resist any longer, delicately lift the bars from the pan by pulling on the parchment paper overlaps and place them onto a large cutting board.
Cut the bars with a sharp knife, making sure to wipe the blade clean between each cut for cleaner looking bars.
Garnish with fresh raspberries, fresh mint leaves and a few shavings of white chocolate, if desired.
I find that these bars are at their best eaten right out of the ice box, and I strongly recommend that you serve them with a fork and plate.
They are a tad messy to eat with your fingers, but it could still very well be done, if say, hum, you didn’t want to leave any “evidence” behind, for instance…
Keep any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.