Now that we are into December, it’s time to start holiday planning, right?! These Holiday Cranberry Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Drizzle would have been great around Thanksgiving time, but they are even more festive for Christmas. Cranberries are plentiful around this time, and you can always find them in any grocery store. I like the Ocean Spray cranberries which can usually be found in the produce section in a plastic bag. This recipe is topped with warm dark chocolate which really adds to the flavor of the cranberry, but you could also make this recipe without the drizzle, or with a cranberry sauce compote or drizzle…they would all be delicious! That’s the thing I really like about this dessert; it’s so versatile!
This recipe is also very easy and fairy quick to make, even though your guests will feel like you spent hours making it! If you prefer more of a pie feel, you could make this in a pie crust as well, more like a regular cheesecake. I usually use one full fat cream cheese and one ⅓ fat (nuefatchel cheese) block to cut a little bit of the calories. You can use whatever you want in terms of fat content, and it will still turn out wonderful!
- 5 ounces graham crackers
- 2 TBS sugar
- 4 TBS butter melted
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 2 8-ounce packages of low fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- dash of salt
- 4 oz dark chocolate broken into pieces
- 1 TBS butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker and sugar until mixed and ground. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Dump the mixture in the baking dish and press the crumbs into the bottom of the baking dish using the bottom of a glass or something alike. Bake until slightly firm, about 12 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and cool completely.
1. In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, ⅓ cup of the sugar, and juice. Bring to a boil and cook for 6 or so minutes, or until the cranberries pop and the mixture is syrupy. Cool for about 30 minutes and set aside.
2. Combine the remaining sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add a dash of salt and beat until combined.
3. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the cooled crust. Drop dollops of the cranberry mixture into the cream cheese mixture and swirl with a chopstick. They may sink into the cheesecake which is fine.
4. Bake at 350°F until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill the cheesecake until firm, at least 4 hours. Cut into small squares.
5. In a microwave safe bowl, add dark chocolate and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, mix with spoon, then microwave in 15 second increments, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. This should not take long.
6. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over the top of the cranberry bars. Serve and enjoy!
Bars should be stored in the fridge, up to 1 week.
Like cranberries? Try out these other cranberry recipes from Domestic Superhero
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