Lemony Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Naturally sweet blueberries stretch these bars’ creamy filling.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups fresh or partially thawed frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-centimeter) baking dish with nonstick spray.

To make the crust: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the dry
ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Use a piece of plastic wrap to press it into an even layer.[/step-item]

Bake the crust, uncovered, until puffed and starting to brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.

To make the cream cheese filling: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch with an electric mixer or in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat or process until smooth. Spread the blueberries over the crust. Pour the cream cheese batter over the blueberries, spreading evenly.[/step-item]

Bake the bars until the filling has set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 24 bars with a sharp knife that has been coated with nonstick spray. One serving is 1 bar. The bars will keep, covered, in
the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Naturally sweet blueberries stretch these bars’ creamy filling. Swapping out the traditional shortbread crust (made with white flour and a copious amount of butter) for a whole wheat crust, adds more fiber while reducing saturated fat.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest