Recipe: Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars

by Sana Sandström

Cheesecake barsThis combination of tropical flavors can make you feel as if you're relaxing in the sun on a tropical beach with an umbrella drink in hand.

A hint of ginger and the crunch of the turbinado sugar in the crust complement the airy filling and satisfying topping.

We think you'll find this delicate blend of tropical flavors a fluffy light dessert for your cheesecake "fix" and perfect end to a festive holiday meal.

Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 3 hours | Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

• 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
• 2 tablespoons coconut flour or all purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 tablespoons oil
• 1 tablespoons water
• Cooking spray

Filling:
• 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
• 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
• 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoons pineapple juice
• 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
• dash of salt
• 3 eggs or 3/4 cup egg substitute

Topping:
• 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
• 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil an 8" square baking pan or spray it with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, sugar, and ginger. Add the butter, oil, and 1 tablespoon of water. Toss well. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, sugar, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and vanilla. When the mixture is smooth, add in the egg. Process until blended.

Spread the cheese mixture over the cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is set.

Cook on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Refrigerator, covered for at least 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Top with the pineapple and toasted coconut. Cut into 16 bars.

Cook's Note

Lemons add a bright, tangy flavor to foods. Almost all the lemons sold in the United States are Eureka or Lisbon. These varieties are definitely tangy!

Meyer lemons are sweeter and smaller than regular lemons. They have an almost orange-like aroma and flavor. If you can find them in your area, give them a try in this recipe.

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