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Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brule Bars

I’m sorry in advance.

These are evil. And amazing. And addicting. And life changing.

I know I asked for your input on what I should post today and a lot of you said breakfast, but I couldn’t not post this recipe. It was burning a hole in my culinary pocket. It was the force of the lemon that made me do it. Lemon desserts and I go way back. I seriously think my addiction started in the womb. {#forreals} My momma likes lemon as much if not more than I do.  Got me some good genetics! {Except for the humungo caboose I inherited…another story for a different time}

So, yes. These lemon cheesecake creme brulee bars are ridiculous. And so devilishly easy that you will be tempted to make these time and time again. I first came up with this recipe after having an awful dessert that was this exact concept but tasted so royally disgusting that I had a hard time shelling out the seven bucks it cost. That night I’d vow to make it better. So I did. I first tested them on a baby shower crowd and they went like hot cakes. Then I made them for my sister-in-law’s birthday because she’s as much of a lemon freak as I am. Of course she liked them too. Then I ‘tested’ them again and ate half the pan. Then I swore the recipe off because I knew if I’d make them AGAIN, I’d eat the.entire.thing. So, I did actually forgot about them until a few days ago when I had a few lemons loitering around my crisper drawers and found a package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese hiding behind ‘x’ pounds of butter. The perfect storm. So I made them again. This time with you all in mind! {You’re welcome.} Take a peek at the step by step photos and experience the beauty that is this dessert.

Here’s what you need: Ingredients

For the bottom layer, mix together some butter, sugar, vanilla and flour. Basically, you’re making a quick shortbread. And, try not to melt your butter in the microwave while trying to soften it. Don’t be like me. Lemon Bars 1

So, once it all comes together, that’s it! 1st layer done. Lemon Bars 2

Press this dough into an 8×8 glass dish. I like to line mine with parchment, but that’s totally optional! Lightly spray your pan with non-stick and you should be good to go. Also, my dough was particularly sticky because I melted my darn butter. If you don’t melt your butter, you won’t have this problem. Again, don’t be like me.  Lemon Bars 3

For the cheesecake part, start by whipping your softened cream cheese. Lemon Bars 4

With the mixer on low, stream in a can of sweetened condensed milk. Scrape the sides and mix again.  Lemon Bars 5

Stir in an egg, Lemon Bars 6

lots of lemon zest,
Lemon Bars 7

and lemon juice. Lemon Bars 8

Scrape the sides and mix again. Once you have a smooth batter, pour it over that first layer. Lemon Bars 9

Bake this at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until it’s completely set…meaning it shouldn’t jiggle!
Lemon Bars 10

Once it comes out of the oven, let it cool to room temp and then refrigerate. These will taste a million times better if they’re cold. Lemon Bars 11

After a few hours, remove from the fridge and pop out of the pan. {All thanks to Mr. Parchment} I like to cut off a tiny strip along each edge to get sharp cuts, but that’s totally up to you. Lemon Bars 12

Now comes the fun part! Separate your squares and sprinkle with sugar. Spread the sugar around the top evenly with your finger so you have a nice thin layer and then………. step by step

….grab one of these bad boys and get crackin’! Lemon Bars 13

Turn that sucker on and brulee the tops of the lemon bars. You can hardly see the flame, but it’s there! {*If you don’t have a torch, use your broiler!} Lemon Bars 14

Hello, my pretties! Once they are all done, refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Lemon Bars 15

Throw these onto a serving platter and voila! A perfect dessert everyone will love! Sweet and tart, similar to key lime pie, but a million times better!
Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brule Bars 2

Enjoy! :)

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Lemon Cheesecake Creme Brulee Bars

Yield: 16 squares

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon zest
6 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons fine granulated sugar for brulee-ing, approximately

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour and vanilla until dough forms. Press evenly into the bottom of prepared dish. Set aside. In another bowl, whip cream cheese. Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Scrape sides and mix again. Pour in egg, lemon zest and juice. Mix until mixture starts to thicken, 20-30 seconds. Scrape sides and mix again briefly. Pour overtop cookie bottom and smooth the top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheesecake is set completely. Cool, then refrigerate. Cut into 16 squares and separate. Sprinkle the tops of each square with 1 teaspoon of sugar and spread around with finger to evenly distribute sugar. Torch the tops until the sugar melts and turns an amber color. {If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler}. Return squares to fridge until ready to serve.

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83 Comments

  1. Well arn’t these pretty? I want to eat them right off my computer screen.

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  2. I’ve already expressed my opinion on these on twitter but I want to record it here for posterity. I love the fact that it’s a little shortbread base, that always works so well with lemon and that crunchy sugar topping just puts it over the edge!

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  3. You’re so talented. I would never had thought of doing this!! Gosh, this is just amazing. I definitely will have to try this — they’re so pretty and cute (i love to eat cute things! haha)..awesome, Lauren!!

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  4. to bad I am in class right now, instead of my kitchen….cause then I would totally be making these right now 😀

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  5. I share your love for lemon desserts, these look great. I’m thinking I would love to add some blueberries in as well! :)

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  6. I was looking for a cheesecake recipe too! I want to make these in a 9X13 pan though. Would you recommend doubling the recipe?

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    • Lauren — January 18th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

      Yes, doubling it works just fine!

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  7. you’re the lemon queen. These look awesome & I see those lemon crinkle cookies of yours EVERYWHERE on Pinterest….they get me every time :)

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  8. too funny–i JUST made creme brulee cheesecake (full-sized and not lemon) this weekend. It was a huge hit–I can’t wait to post it :) Next time I’m adding lemon-great idea!

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  9. Oh, my. These look fantastic. And, as luck would have it, I was just wondering what to do with all of my extra cream cheese.

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  10. Whoa. These look insanely delicious! I like. A lot.

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  11. oh yum!! these look fantastic! lemon is one of my favorite flavors!! and we won’t even discuss cheesecake…

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  12. My mom loves lemon desserts. I would like to surprise her with these magnificent bars. Will store bought lemon zest powder work just fine? Thanks for sharing…

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  13. Of course these are life changing & totally addictive. So totally pinned too. Look at you with that blow torch….love it!

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  14. Well my husband keeps raving about your lemon crinkle cookies that I made on the weekend … so I suppose I will have to make these for him too!

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  15. I don’t know why I always feel the need to sing some opera-like tune when I see a new post from you in my blog list. AMAZING Lauren, these look amazing.

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  16. I think I am just going to start crying now.

    These look so.freaking.good.

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  17. Wish I had a blow torch! I’d love to try these!

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    • Lauren — January 19th, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

      Even if you don’t have a blow torch, you can put these under the broiler!

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  18. these look incredible, Lauren!!

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  19. These look so yummmmmmy!!! I want one with my coffee right now! & your torch is so cute! Where did you get that?

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    • Lauren — January 19th, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

      I got it for Christmas last year from my parents in Canada.

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  20. What a great idea to torch the tops. Turns same ol’ cheesecake into something new and exciting.

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  21. I haven’t made any cheesecake yet, but I’m considering starting with this absolutely amazing recipe. I love lemon too! :)

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  22. The perfect balance of ingredients; to die for…

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  23. These ARE evil. And, you are evil. Obviously you peeked into my pantry because I have all of this stuff just sitting there begging, as well as a lemon tree that’s producing faster than I can use them. I am so making these. Right away. Thanks!

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  24. I Want!! no, seriously… i may be making a trip to the grocery store for lemons and cream cheese tonight. Wowzer!

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  25. You are evil. I need these. NOW!!

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  26. Oh yum, these are on the to do list this weekend.

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  27. Looking at these, I think I’m ready to have my life changed!

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  28. Yum these look amazing!! can’t wait to try them! :)

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  29. I so love all of my kitchen gadgets. I’ve never seen this torch thing before. I so have to find on now LOL.

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  30. These bars look very delicious!! I’m really gonna try them. But I have a question, I’m from the Netherlands and I would like to know how much fat contains your Philadelphia cream cheese? So I can try to find right cream cheese here?

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    • Lauren — January 25th, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

      Our cream cheese has 9 grams of fat per 1 oz. serving. Hope you can find something similar!

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