Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Orange

Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake Bars


Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake Bars

Since I love a good cheesecake, I created a solution for the next time I’m craving a slice of heaven that still satisfies with a more responsible nutritional profile—under 200 calories. Yogurt replaces half of the cream cheese, which reduces the saturated fat and calorie content. I created this recipe for an Icelandic yogurt brand, a yogurt known as skyr, which contains more protein than sugar. I’m able to use less sugar in this recipe by infusing it with fresh orange, which adds a bright, natural sweetness and a hit of acidity to add depth to this lightened up dessert.

Disclosure: I originally created this recipe for an Icelandic yogurt brand, but was not compensated to post this recipe. I just wanted you to have the recipe, since these bars are so tasty!

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Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Orange

For the crust:
7 sheets graham crackers made with whole grains (or 1 1/3 cups fine crumbs)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil*, plus extra for coating the pan

For the filling:
1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese, room temperature
2 (5.3-ounce) thick vanilla yogurt cups, like Icelandic yogurt (or 1 1/4 cups)
1/3 cup granulated raw sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 medium orange, zest finely grated and 1/4 cup juice
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and rub a 9 x 9-inch pan with a thin coat of coconut oil. Place the pan on top of a sheet pan or jellyroll pan.

To make the crust: Whir the graham crackers and salt in a food processor until they reach the consistency of fine crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and mix until blended completely. Spread crumbs evenly into the pan and 1/2 inch up the sides. Press crumbs firmly. Bake until fragrant and surface appears dry, about 11 minutes.

To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer’s paddle attachment on high speed or whisk until smooth. Add yogurt, sugar, and orange zest and juice, and beat until smooth. On low speed, whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated completely, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl after adding each egg. Add flour and stir just until incorporated. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled or cooled crust and place the pans in the oven. Pour hot water into the sheet pan, making a water bath. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake until only the center jiggles when shaken gently, about 20 more minutes. Cool completely. Chill for at least 4 hours. Cut into 16 bars.

*Kitchen notes: If you don’t have coconut oil, substituting with butter or trans-fat free baking sticks will also produce good results.

Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes 16 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 180; Total Fat 8 g; Saturated Fat 4 g; Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 225 mg; Carbohydrates 21 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 5 g; Vitamin A 4% DV; Calcium 4% DV; Vitamin C 4% DV; Iron 4% DV

Michelle Dudash is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef and newspaper columnist of DishwithDudash.com.

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- 200 Calorie - Vanilla Cheesecake Bars  with Orange

Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Orange

Vanilla-Orange Cheesecake Bars

By Michelle Dudash, Chef and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Published: October 14, 2015

  • Yield: 1 9x9 inch cheesecake (16 Servings)
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 55 mins

I created a solution for the next time I’m craving a slice of heaven that still satisfies with a more responsible nutritional profile--under 200 calories.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and rub a 9 x 9-inch pan with a thin coat of coconut oil. Place the pan on top of a sheet pan or jellyroll pan.
  2. To make the crust: Whir the graham crackers and salt in a food processor until they reach the consistency of fine crumbs. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and mix until blended completely. Spread crumbs evenly into the pan and 1/2 inch up the sides. Press crumbs firmly. Bake until fragrant and surface appears dry, about 11 minutes.
  3. To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer’s paddle attachment on high speed or whisk until smooth. Add yogurt, sugar, and orange zest and juice, and beat until smooth. On low speed, whisk in the eggs one at a time until incorporated completely, scraping the sides and bottom of bowl after adding each egg. Add flour and stir just until incorporated. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled or cooled crust and place the pans in the oven. Pour hot water into the sheet pan, making a water bath. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake until only the center jiggles when shaken gently, about 20 more minutes. Cool completely. Chill for at least 4 hours. Cut into 16 bars.
  4. *Kitchen notes: If you don’t have coconut oil, substituting with butter or trans-fat free baking sticks will also produce good results.

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