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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Author Jessica

Ingredients

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

Cherry Cheesecake

  • 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

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 ½ cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream 33%
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • ½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions

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.

Cherry Cheesecake

  • 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.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 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.

Notes

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.