Crispy-Treat Cheesecake Bars

Sweeten your Fourth of July (or any celebration) with these crunchy-creamy bars. The cheesecake layer is the perfect ying to the yang of[ the crackly rice cereal. Make the bars a day ahead, then cut and top with berries before serving.]

Total Time:
2 hr 35 min
Prep:
5 min
Inactive:
2 hr 25 min
Cook:
5 min

Yield:
16 bars
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Crispy layer:
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups crispy rice cereal
  • Cheesecake layer:
  • One 1/4-ounce packet unflavored powdered gelatin
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups mixed raspberries and blueberries, for topping
Directions

For the crispy layer: Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Lightly coat the foil and a wooden spoon with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the marshmallows, honey, vanilla and a pinch of salt, and stir with the prepared wooden spoon until the marshmallows have completely melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rice cereal, and stir until the mixture is fully combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press into an even layer. Let sit at room temperature until firm, about 20 minutes.

For the cheesecake layer: Meanwhile, combine the gelatin with 2 tablespoons water in a small microwave-safe bowl, and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer) until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and a pinch of salt, and beat on medium high speed until incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute.

Microwave the gelatin until melted, stirring as needed, about 30 seconds. Add the gelatin to the cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium high speed to combine, about 30 seconds.

To assemble: Pour the cream cheese-gelatin mixture over the cooled crispy layer, and spread out evenly. Wrap the pan loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the cheesecake layer is set, about 2 hours. (The bars can be assembled and refrigerated overnight.) Cut into 16 bars, and top each with raspberries and blueberries before serving.

Copyright 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

The cereal-and-marshmallow mixture will be sticky. Try wetting your hands before patting it down.


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    This recipe is featured in:

    4th of July