You guys. I made Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars. They are the BOMB! And the perfect way to use up all of those fresh cherries!
I am already contemplating an excuse to make them again. (I have already made them twice this week)
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Cherry season is my favorite. Every year we travel to the Okanagan in July and I come back with pails of fresh cherries. It’s gotten to the point that I pack an empty cooler and ice packs just for the occasion. I know I have an obsession with them and I am totally fine with it.
As soon as we get home I wash and pit all of the cherries and package them up in freezer bags. They last for a whole year in the freezer and there is nothing that compares!
Cherries are often overlooked and I can not understand why?! If you love cherries as much as me you HAVE to check out this Cherry Rum Pie recipe, too. I have made it more than I would like to admit and literally every person that has tasted it has loved it (even those people who claim they don't like cherry pie). "cough" Liars! LOL
Let's start from the bottom up. A pretzel graham cracker crust, you will be left wondering where this has been all of your life! The crust is salty, sweet, and crumbly. It’s so dang good!
Then comes the lemony creamy cherry cheesecake layer. This cheesecake comes out so fluffy and it is just divine. The fresh cherries scattered throughout complete the cheesecake. I am literally drooling while I am writing this.
Then comes the chocolate ganache. If you have never had ganache, you need to. After the ganache is set, it transforms into this chocolaty creamy heavenly layer of decadence.
These bars will keep for 3-4 days sealed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator.
I hope you love these Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars as much as we did! And for all those who have been asking, this week is going much better and we are slowly getting back on track with our normal lives. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Pretzel Graham Crust
- 1 ½ cups Pretzels, crushed (approx. 200 g)
- 1 ½ cups Graham Crackers, crushed (approx. 200 g)
- ¾ cup Butter, melted
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 - 8 oz pkgs Brick Cream Cheese, softened
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Zest from one Lemon, approx. 1 Tablespoon
- 1 ½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 cups Fresh Cherries, pitted and quartered ₁
- 1 ½ cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Heavy Cream, 33%
- ¼ cup Honey
- ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
Pretzel Graham Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a blender or food processor, grind the pretzels and graham crackers into fine crumbs. You can do this the good ole fashioned way too if you like. For that just place the pretzels and graham crackers in a zip top bag, remove all of the air and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Empty all of the crushed pretzels and graham crackers into a medium sized bowl. Create a well in the center of the crumbs, this is where you will pour the melted butter.
- Melt the butter and pour all of the butter into the well in the center of the crumbs. Using a fork toss and stir the mixture until it resembles wet sand.
- Add sugar and stir to combine.
- In a 9x13 non stick cake pan pour all of the pretzel graham crust mixture and spread out evenly.
- Tamp the crust down, I find the easiest way to do this is to use a glass! Starting at one end of the pan, press down firmly on the glass move it over slightly and press down again. Repeat until the entire pan of crumbs are firmly pressed into place. (see photo)
- Bake the crust for 5 minutes, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer add the softened cream cheese. Beat on high with hand mixer or stand mixer until cream cheese is smooth.
- Reduce speed to medium low, add all of the sugar, beat to combine. Add the eggs and egg yolk one by one beating in between additions. Beat until batter is smooth.
- Remove bowl from mixer and using a large spatula fold in the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
- Fold in the cherries. Take care to not stir them too much or your batter may turn pink.
- Pour batter into pan. Using a spoon to make sure that the cherries are well spread out.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the center of the cheesecake is set and not wobbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before moving onto the next step.
- In a large bowl add chocolate chips, honey, vanilla extract, and salt.
- In a small saucepan over low heat warm the heavy cream until hot and just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate chips.
- DO NOT STIR- Wait 5 minutes from the time you poured the cream over top of the chocolate. After 5 minutes, whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate is combined and melted. Mixture will be velvety smooth.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over top of cooled cheesecake and let set in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before slicing and serving.
¹ Using Frozen Cherries- You can use frozen cherries but you must slice the cherries into quarters. This can be done while the cherries are still frozen. Carefully use a sharp knife to slice up the cherries. Keep the sliced cherries in the freezer until just before you are ready to fold them into the cheesecake mixture. You may have to increase the baking time by 5 minutes to account for using frozen cherries.
Bars will keep for 3-4 days sealed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g