Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is great for any reason and any day of the year. I added dyed cake batter for the swirly effect, and the result in heaven on a plate, or in the palm of your hand! I know it will be hard to resist sharing, but you should! Makes a great potluck dish for pride or the upcoming solstice. Celebrate, the Sun, Life and Love with sweets!

Cheesecake Bars Serves 6-8

Crust :

1 stick butter

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

Filling:

**1 recipe of white cake batter divided into 6 portions

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

2 eggs

1/2c sugar

1tsp vanilla

1tsp lemon zest

Gel Food Dye colors (purple, red, orange, yellow, green, blue)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter and combine with crumbs. Mix until a sandy texture is formed. ( pinch mix, it should hold a shape. Adjust with more butter or crumbs if needed)

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 9*13 pan then grease the paper and pan sides. Press crumb mixture to the bottom, in an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled it should feel firm.

With a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle or a hand mixer, soften the cream cheese. Add eggs one at a time to incorporate. Add sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Pour mixture over the crumb base.

Prepare your favorite cake batter and divide into 6 portions. Add gel coloring to achieve desired color. With a spoon drizzle colored batter over the cheesecake filling in whatever design usings all the colors     ( you will need about 2 spoonfuls for each color, use the rest of the batter to make a cake!)

Once you are done, use a chopstick, skewer or knife and swirl the batter into the cheesecake ( don’t go too deep or it will pierce the crumb)

Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until cheesecake sets but has a slight jiggle in the middle ( you can also test with a butter knife). Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, chill in the refrigerator for 8 hrs or overnight.

To cut, run a knife along the edges and invert to a flat surface, remove the paper and flip back over. Place a knife in hot water, wipe and cut. Keep heating and wiping between cuts to avoid getting crumbs on the other pieces. Serve

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