Blackberry White Chocolate Lime Cheesecake Bars

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My brain is currently undergoing Christmas-scramble.  My thoughts are about gifts, decorations, and crafting.  But of course I also have saved some brain power to think about food.  Holidays bring some of the best food (and an excuse to eat it- only a Scrooge won’t eat that Christmas cookie or eat another piece of bread).

For this month’s Improv Challenge, we had to make something with white chocolate and lime- two of my absolute favorite dessert flavors.  I considered making something akin to a key lime pie but ended up taking some cheesecake bars and adding some deliciously smooth, melted white chocolate and citrus-y lime zest.  Then to top it all off, I swirled in some blackberry preserves- or if you want to be more festive, swirl in some cranberry sauce or raspberry preserves.

Don’t be a Scrooge- make and share these bars!

BLACKBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE LIME CHEESECAKE BARS
Adapted from Handle the Heat

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut in 1 inch cubes

For the Cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
Zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces white chocolate, melted
3/4 cup blackberry jam

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with foil and grease.

In a food processor combine flour, salt, and brown sugar. Pulse until combined. Sprinkle cold butter cubes on top. Pulse until pea sized crumbs form. Press evenly into prepared baking pan.

In a large bowl combined granulated sugar and lime zest. Rub together. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. While continuing to beat, add eggs, vanilla extract, flour, and salt until combined. Beat in white chocolate until combined. Pour cheesecake batter on top of crust.

Warm blackberry jam on the stove or in the microwave until slightly thinner.  Dollop on top of cheesecake and swirl with a butter knife.

Place 9×9 pan inside a 9×13 pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water to create a water bath. Place in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. The center should jiggle slightly when shaken, but the edges should be stiffer looking. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.

Thanks for Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for hosting.  Make sure to check out what everyone else made this month!

Crepes with Blackberry Sauce and White Chocolate: Improv Challenge

Yes, I do know that Valentine’s Day was last week, but isn’t love around all the time?  There never is a wrong day to enjoy fun shaped food.  This month’s Improv Challenge hosted by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker was hearts and flours.  I love a good pun, so I went to work brainstorming heart shaped food using flour.  I had grand plans of decadent desserts, but this semester is has been a little crazy.  So instead I turned to plan B, simple crepes topped with a warm blackberry sauce and white chocolate chips.
Crepes are really not hard to make (I feel like I am always saying this, but I promise it’s true).  All you have to do is whip up this basic batter in a blender or food processor, then the world is your oyster (or crepe?).   You can take this basic recipe and make it a sweet crepe by adding vanilla, cinnamon.  Then fill with fruit, cream cheese, chocolate, and more.  Or if you are in a savory mood, you could add fresh herbs or pepper.  Possible savory fillings include mushrooms, goat cheese, brie, chicken, shrimp, and more.  Crepes are a quick way to whip up a million possible flavor combinations.  Of course, crepes with just a little maple syrup and cinnamon are also a delight.
This time around I chose a beautifully red and sweet blackberry sauce and white chocolate chips.  This blackberry sauce would also go great with a sweetened cream cheese if you are able to keep such things in your fridge without them spoiling on you (single gal problems right here).
CREPES WITH BLACKBERRY SAUCE AND WHITE CHOCOLATE
Crepes barely adapted from Cooking Light
Blackberry Sauce from Cinnamon Freud
INGREDIENTS
For the Crepes:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Blackberry Sauce:
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste
White chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS
For the Crepes:
In a blender or a food processor combine flour, granulated sugar, salt, milk, water, butter, eggs, adn vanilla extract.  Process until combined.  Chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat a small skillet (approximately 8 inches) over high heat.  Grease pan with butter or nonstick spray.  Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter in the pan and tilt pan to get a thin coating evenly across the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and flip.  Cook the second side 1-2 minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Keep warm.
For the Blackberry Sauce:
In a blender or a food processor combine blackberries, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar.  Adjust the amount of sugar as needed, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.  Process until combined and the berries are slightly broken down.  Transfer to a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
Pour sauce on top of crepes.  Top with white chocolate chips.
Serves 4.
Check out all the other entries for this month’s Improv Challenge and check out Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for more information!

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