These Strawberry Chia Cheesecake Bars are made with a graham cracker crust and topped with cream cheese and a tasty strawberry chia seed compote.
I gotta be honest, Miguel and I don’t usually do something for Valentine’s Day. I also realize Valentine’s Day is still a week away, but I’m feeling the need to post these strawberry chia cheesecake bars today because they’re that good.
Even though I’m not an avid sports watcher, I did watch the game last night and holy crap, talk about an upset (I mean, right?!). …unless you’re a Patriots fan, but I feel like there were approximately four people who actually wanted the Patriots to win. Sadly, I was upset for all of two minutes until I snapped out of it and reminded myself that I don’t truly care about sports. One thing I do care about? Lady Gaga. Did you see her performance? Please say yes! It was perfection—her voice, her dancing. LOVED IT.
Ok I’m done. The other thing I love is dessert, which I blame completely on my mother, who taught me that dinner isn’t complete without some sort of dessert, even if it’s something small, like a cheesecake bar.
Another thing my mom taught me is that graham cracker crusts are the best crusts (helloooooo butter+sugar), so that’s where I started with these bars. Graham cracker crust topped with cream cheese, a little yogurt (I don’t know… it’s like I was trying to make these healthy by including one healthy ingredient….. merp) and vanilla bean and then that’s topped with a strawberry chia compote. …again with the healthy ingredient being chia seeds.
These cheesecake bars are in no way healthy, but they are sweet and will make your significant other happy. Miguel was obsessed with these bars and we both ate them up in no time (embarassingggggggggg).
These bars are soft, chewy, taste just like cheesecake, topped with a fruity compote which adds a great flavor and texture to the bars, and are made with the best crust ever. Great flavor and texture=the best kind of dessert.
If your’e looking for something quick and easy to whip up for Valentine’s Day, or any occasion really, these cheesecake bars are it!
- For the crust:
- 12 graham crackers
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup butter, melted
- For the bars:
- 16 oz. plain cream cheese
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 1 vanilla bean*
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cane sugar
- For the compote:
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- 2 tbsp orange juice OR lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Line an 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they're completely crushed; add sugar and butter to processor and pulse until everything's combined.
- Use a spatula to remove graham crackers from processor and into the 8x8 dish, pressing down on it so the crust is even.
- Next, make the compote by adding all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bringing them a a boil, once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon or other kitchen tool to break down the strawberries even more. It's better to have small strawberry pieces than larger chunks, if possible.
- While compote is being made, make the cheesecake. Use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese and yogurt; then, add egg, vanilla and sugar and whisk until smooth.
- Add cheesecake mixture on top of graham cracker layer, again using a spatula or spoon to smooth mixture on top.
- Once compote is done, remove from heat and pour overtop of cheesecake. Be careful! You'll probably only need to pour half or ¾ of the mixture, and you can save the rest for another time/or to add on top before serving the bars.
- Place baking pan in the oven and bake bars for 30 minutes or until cheesecake has set.
- Remove from oven, wait 10 minutes or so until cutting and enjoying!
*The vanilla bean is optional. I think it adds a nice flavor to the cream cheese layer, but if you can't find vanilla bean and/or don't feel like making a special trip to the store, these bars will still taste great without it.