I am so sad to say today is the last day of #TripleSBites - but I am very happy to share with you this creamy, mildly spiced, and completely delicious dessert to finish off the week of amazing food.
For the HUGE GIVEAWAY details - visit my Kick-Off Post HERE! The contest ends TODAY!!
The only complaint about this dish was that the cheesecake layer wasn't equivalent in thickness to the gingerbread layer and that would have made it just that much tastier. That said - the gingerbread layer is divine. Lightly spiced (next time I am going to try some of the Gourmet Garden ginger paste too and see what magic that creates in addition to their lightly dried herbs I used)! It is tender, and flavorful, and literally the icing on the cake is that creamy, luscious cheesecake layer! It is SO good! Just a little sweet, and perfectly balances the spice in the gingerbread. These two layers were meant for each other - just like you and your Valentine!
My son has been eating up these little bars every chance he gets - he really, really likes them, and I like that they're not overly sweet, but they are still decadent feeling and tasting because of the rich cheesecake layer. Next time I would add some crystallized ginger on top for some extra spice and some extra "pizazz" too - I think it would look and taste fantastic with these bars!
A final shout out and thank you to our incredible sponsors - they allowed us to try many of their fantastic products during this event, and are offering some pretty incredible prizes. The link to the giveaway is above, make sure to stop by and enter; today is the very last day!
Gingerbread Cheesecake Bars from Rachael Ray
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
12 TBS (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the cheesecake layer:
2 blocks (8-oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 baking dish with Reynold's nonstick foil (make sure to leave at least a little overhang so you can use the foil as "handles" to pull the bars out of the pan - it makes removal easier).
- In a large bowl combine the dry gingerbread layer ingredients: AP flour, salt, baking powder, Gourmet Garden lightly dried ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the remaining gingerbread layer ingredients: melted butter, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Blend, and then slowly add the dry ingredients just until combined.
- Spread the gingerbread batter into the bottom of the prepared 9x13 pan.
- Clean the bowl for the stand mixer, and then place the two bricks of cream cheese in the bowl and whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in the egg and vanilla, then pour the sweetened condensed milk in slowly until completely incorporated, and the mixture is smooth (scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed).
- Spread the cheesecake layer over the gingerbread base and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake 55 - 60 minutes, or unitl the cheesecake layer is set and lightly golden brown.
- Allow cake to cool completely and then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to chill.
- Use the foil "handles" to remove the cake from the pan and cut into small bars (makes about 32 small bars). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (if they last that long)!