I know what you are thinking. Why am I sharing a recipe inspired by ginger? Ginger is a fall ingredient. I know this. I really do, but I really think this recipe (despite the insane amount of ginger) is really great for summertime. For one thing, it’s chilled. Chilled desserts are great for summertime, and even though you will feel like you are taking a bite out of Christmas when you try one, it’s ok because it will totally cool you down. Besides, they are delicious, so who cares what time of year I post them! These ginger cheesecake bars contain everything that’s absolutely perfect in this world, and it has one of my favorite beer pairings to match.
Can we just talk layers for a moment? These ginger cheesecake bars are all about the layers. The crust is made of crumbled gingersnap cookies and cinnamon. It is then topped with a filling that will melt your heart and your finger tips if you touch it when it’s hot. Don’t touch it. ;) It is a mixture of ginger, sugar, butter and more. The top layer is everything you crave in cheesecake and more. Crystalized ginger is folded in at the end, and it gives it a most-necessary pop of flavor.
Yes, there is a ton of sugar in this recipe.
Oh right, there is also a ton of butter in this recipe…Followed by a ton of cream cheese.
You are allowed to splurge every once in a while. Seriously, it will all be ok.
I promise you.
So how was everyone’s weekend? We have hit a trend here in Colorado where it’s absolutely GORGEOUS during the week, and crap during the weekend. Seriously, I think this past weekend dropped 20 degrees and rained the entire time. I woke up this morning and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. At least there is some inspiration to get some work done, besides the fact that I would rather be basking in the sunshine. :)
Woohoo. My favorite part of any blog post: THE BEER PAIRING!
Beer: Avery’s Anniversary Ale: Twenty One
Brewed By: Avery Brewing
Style: Imperial India-Style Brown Ale
Description: I find myself extremely lucky to live just down the road from Avery. It’s one of those breweries I have a love/hate relationship with because I go there and devour everything they have on their menu (because it’s all just so spectacular), and then I DO NOT feel so hot the next day. Ok, so maybe this is a love/love relationship. Who is really keeping track anyway? It’s so worth it because they always have something delicious on their menu. I really love their most recent Anniversary Ale: Twenty One. It’s an Imperial India-Style Brown Ale, and I can almost guarantee you’ve never had anything like it. I chose to pair it with these bars because of the amount of flavor this ale contains. It’s hoppier than you would find in most brown ales, but also has a touch of chocolatey sweetness. This is why I’m so in love with it. It really compliments these bars and tones down the sweetness just a bit. If you can’t get your hands on this beer, try another brown ale or try a stout of some kind. Enjoy!
I hope everyone had a great weekend! Here’s the recipe!
- FOR THE CRUST
- 24 gingersnap cookies
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE TOPPING
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line an 8x8 in baking dish with parchment paper, foil or spray with a non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In the pitcher of your food processor or blender, add the gingersnap cookies, sugar, cinnamon and sea salt. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse powder. You may need to do this in batches depending on how large your food processor is. Add the mixture to a bowl with the melted butter and mix to combine.
- Pour the crust into your prepared dish and press firmly down in an even layer with your finger tips. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- For the filling, combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until butter has melted, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool for just a couple of minutes.
- Pour the filling on top of the par-baked crust. Taking a rubber spatula, spread the filling so that it is even and covers the entire crust. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, with paddle attachment fixed, combine the egg, egg yolk, sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and creamy, approximately 1 minute. Fold in the crystalized ginger.
- Scoop the cheesecake layer on top of the filling. Be very careful, as you spread the cheesecake layer over top the filling so that you don't mix the two. Spread into an even layer, so that it completely covers the filling. It should be thick.
- Place the dish in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until the cheesecake is set on top. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for an hour, then place in the fridge to chill for an additional hour. Cut into bars and serve!
- You may store the cheesecake bars in an airtight container, in the fridge, for about a week. Enjoy!