Recipe courtesy of Kardea Brown

Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 35 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Crust:

One 11-ounce box vanilla wafer cookies

3 tablespoons granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus more for garnish 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted 

Filling:

1 cup heavy cream

Three 24-ounce blocks full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice 

2 cups confectioners' sugar 

1 1/2 cups sour cream, at room temperature 

1 quart strawberries, sliced 

Directions

  1. For the crust: Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing for a 2-inch overhang on the sides.
  2. Place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag. Seal and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and add the granulated sugar, lemon zest and salt. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Firmly press the crumb mixture into the baking dish in an even layer. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.
  3. For the filling: Beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and lemon zest and juice in a bowl until fluffy and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar and sour cream. Beat until just combined, making sure there are no lumps. Fold in the whipped cream. Remove the crust from the freezer. Pour the mixture over the crust and spread in an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  5. Use the parchment overhang to lift the bars out of the baking dish. When ready to serve, arrange the strawberries on top and sprinkle some lemon zest over the top. Slice into squares and serve chilled.