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raspberry meyer lemon cheesecake bar cookies for valentines day

Raspberries and Meyer lemons showing up together here in a cheesecake bar cookie have this thing; it's a lively, tangy, bright and tasty flavor thing, I'm all about loving it and so will you.

I love valentines ❤️  day.  The cards, gifts, treats, special dinners with your sweetheart, what's not to like?

I made my raspberry Meyer lemon cheesecake bars to celebrate valentines ♥️  day yesterday so they would have an overnight in the fridge to firm up before cutting into bars, I still had trouble and they came out a bit messy, oh well.  They taste great anyway and I will make them again during our official raspberry season which comes earlier every year, not sure that's a good thing.  However, we are smack dab in the middle of lemon season and that feels normal and good.  My tree as well as all my neighbors who are lucky enough to have lemon 🍋  trees are all experiencing a huge lemon 🍋 crop.  I think lemon tart is my next baking project, meanwhile I'm enjoying 🍋  juice with everything.  This morning I made waffles and substituted lemon juice for  a spoonful of water, not bad.  I put lemon juice and lemon zest in the fresh berries that I served with my waffles, not bad.  I'm getting the hang of this using up a bowl of lemons in my kitchen thing and I like it just fine.

Ingredients and Recipe for Raspberry Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bar Cookies
Makes 16 large size bar cookies in an 8" square pan

Raspberry Sauce
1&1/2 cups fresh raspberries, a small basket and a half
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of sea salt

8 ounces shortbread cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
pinch of sea salt

4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, I used Valrhona
14 ounces regular cream cheese, cubed at room temperature 
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup regular sour cream, at room temperature 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature 

Make the Sauce
Combine the raspberries, sugar, raspberry preserves, zest and salt in a medium size heavy saucepan.
Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until raspberries have formed a sauce.  Prepare an ice water bath in a bowl, set aside.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl that will sit into the ice bath.  Set aside until chilled, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper ( 2 lengths of paper crisscrossed so you can pull the cheesecake bars out of the pan when cooled before cutting into squares), set aside.

Make the Crust
Place the shortbread cookies, sugar, and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until you have fine crumbs, add the melted butter and pulse until incorporated.
Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until slightly browned and puffed.  Cool on a metal rack.

Melt the White Chocolate
Place the chopped white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water, gradually melting while stirring, remove from chocolate heat and set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

Make the Filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the softened cream cheese, sugar, and salt.  Mix on medium speed until well combined, about one minute.
Add the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.  Mix on low until well combined.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Mix in the melted white chocolate on low speed until just combined.  Give the bowl a good scrape down and pour mixture over the cooled crust.  Smooth the top.

Don't Forget Raspberry Sauce
Place spoonfuls of the raspberry sauce over the top and swirl with a wooden skewer.  Serve the extra raspberry sauce with the bars, if you like.

Bake Your Bars
Turn down the oven to 325F.
Bake for about 40-44 minutes, until the edges are firm, ever so slightly browned, the middle is a tad wobbly and the entire cheesecake is puffed.  Cool for one hour on a metal rack.  Chill for at least 3-4 hours or even better overnight.  Cut into squares.  Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.


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