Cheesecake Squares: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160
degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have
ready a 9 x 13 x 2 inch (23 x 33 x 5
cm) baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom
and up two opposite sides of the pan. Lightly butter or spray the foil with
a non stick cooking spray.
Crust: In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted
butter. Press mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in
preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Increase the oven
temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the
cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and
beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. Pour the cheesecake filling over
the graham cracker base and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes or until the cheesecake
batter is just set.
Remove from oven
and place on a wire rack to cool. Cover and place in the refrigerator for
several hours to
make the squares easier to cut. To cut into squares - place on a cutting board,
remove the foil, and with a sharp knife, cut into 2 inch squares. Have a damp
cloth on hand to wipe the knife between cuts. Garnish with fresh
berries, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Makes about 24 - 2
inch (5 cm) squares.
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