Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cheesecake Bars

Last night I had dinner with a bunch of girls, and we made it a potluck meal. I was immediately struck by how different a girl's potluck night is from a boy's potluck. Last Saturday there was a chili party, and the host sent around a spreadsheet to sign up to bring food. I put down cornbread (seems good with chili, right?). The other guys put down, "cheese." And, "chips." And, of course, "beer."

Last night? One girl brought lamb meatballs with yogurt dipping sauce, another brought scallion pancakes and pork dumplings, and then I made chickpea casserole. For dessert we had white chocolate cheesecake with raspberry topping, and milk tea.

We can debate whether it's okay to stereotype girls as better cooks, and whether these girls are self-selected to be more domestic since they live in a girl's dorm - but here's the bottom line. If you have to pick a potluck to attend, you want to go with the girls. :)

I do have a point to this lengthy intro: the cheesecake was divine. And it inspired me.

Purists will say that cheesecake must be made in a springform pan (and I do have one of those). But I'm lazy, so I thought I'd share some pictures from my recipe file of the last time I made cheesecake. Forget about spring-form and baking in boiling water - this one's not even in a pie shape!

I used this recipe for cheesecake bars. Start by mixing up the crust, reserving some for topping later.

Figure: Butter sugar flour - what's not to like?
Figure: Press in with fingers, preferably as many fingers as possible so you maximize licking them clean.
The filling is a pretty standard cheesecake filling, which depending on your outlook is either boring, or simple and fast. I generally land on the quick-and-easy philosophy.

Figure: If you cook by yourself, you get to lick both beaters. Bonus!
 Pour into the casserole, top with crumbles reserved from the crust.

Serve and enjoy!

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