Cooking with Katie


Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of those things that’s really easy to mess up! When you’re making a traditional cheesecake, it can crack, or not cook through all the way….there’s just a lot of things that can go wrong. Well, this is one cheesecake recipe that is full-proof! It’s practically impossible to mess it up, and the taste is out of this world good! For all you cheesecake lovers out there, this is one recipe you MUST try.

As I mentioned before, this recipe is full-proof. You bake this cheesecake in a 9×13 baking dish, which allows the heat to be distributed more evenly than a spring-form pan. Plus, you don’t have to worry if it has a few cracks here and there because you just pour a bunch of chocolate over the top! Is there any reason not to make this?!?!

Cheesecake Bars (Bakerella)

  • Crust
    1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
    3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
    6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Cheesecake
    3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened (This recipe makes a ton of cheesecake! It’s also very easy to cut in half!)
    1 cup sugar
    2 Tablespoons flour
    3 eggs
    8 oz. sour cream
    1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Chocolate Ganache
    8 oz. heavy whipping cream
    2 oz. butter
    8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
    1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix graham crackers and sugar together. Add butter and stir until combined.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove and cool. Meanwhile, heat cream and butter on stove until just before boiling. Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.

Pour over cooled cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 30 bars. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars

This dessert is decadence at its best! Sugar cookies, Skor bars, mascarpone cheese, and chocolate……..what more could you want?!?!?!

These little bars are perfect for entertaining because everyone can just snatch 2 or 3 and there’s not a lot of clean-up (always a good thing)! Plus, kids L-O-V-E them! Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll L-O-V-E them, too! If there’s a nut allergy, though, then you may not want to use Skor or Heath bars; chocolate chips or M ‘n’ Ms work great, too!

Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars (Giada de Laurentiis)

  • 1 lb. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 Skor bars, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. veg. oil
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese

Start  by combining half the Skor bars, the vanilla, and the thawed cookie dough.

Then, spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray it again. Spread the cookie dough into an even layer, prick it with a fork, and bake at 350 degress for 12-14 minutes.

Now, this is mascarpone cheese. It’s a sweet Italian cream cheese and really adds a lovely flavor to this dessert. If you can’t find it, just use cream cheese. Melt the chocolate and the oil together in a double boiler, and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, whisk in the mascarpone cheese.

When the dough comes out of the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes.

Then, pour the chocolate on and sprinkle with the remaining Skor bars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.


Homemade Granola Bars

I love granola; I mean, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! This is the first time I’ve tried making it at home, and it came out perfectly! This stuff is addictive.

This granola is a blank canvas that I chose to decorate with dried cranberries. You can add whatever you like spruce it up, and of course, if there’s a nut allergy, you can omit the almonds. Dried apricots, dates, banana chips, chocolate chips, dried cherries, dried blueberries, or even dried pomegranate seeds would be GREAT in this! Use whatever you’d like!

Home-made Granola Bars (Ina Garten)

  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 c sliced almonds
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

Toast the oatmeal, coconut, and almonds at 350 degrees on a dry baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine with the toasted oat mixture and stir in the cranberries. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, then line with parchment paper. Pour the granola into the dish and smooth into an even layer.

Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting and serving. Enjoy!