Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Cheesecake:

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling:

3 cups chopped strawberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ tablespoons cornstarch

Oatmeal Crumble:

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and finely diced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Create a well and pour in the melted butter. Mix until evenly combined.

Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press it evenly into the bottom. Bake for 8 minutes.

While the crust bakes, beat together the cheesecake ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine chopped strawberries, lemon juice, and vanilla. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes until strawberries burst and release juice.

In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir into the strawberry mixture and cook for 2 more minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.

Create the oatmeal crumble by combining all crumble ingredients in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fingers to mix until a coarse crumble forms.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust, spreading it evenly. Top with strawberry sauce and then the crumble topping.

Bake the cheesecake bars for 50 to 70 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 to 60 minutes.

Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before slicing into squares.

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