The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays – cookouts, beach bonfires, fireworks…ah, fun times! One of the things I love about this holiday is how laid-back it is: you don’t have to worry about figuring out gifts to give or fancy outfits to wear, because what’s more important is just spending time with friends and family and hopefully enjoying a great meal.
When it came to brainstorming Fourth of July recipes, though, I hit a bit of a road block. Part of this road block is because I personally would probably be content with just a huge bowl of potato salad (as I’ve discussed previously, I have a bit of a potato obsession), but I suspect other people might like some more variety. Of course, I had somewhat intended the peanut butter bacon cheeseburgers from my last post to be a possible Independence Day menu item, but I still wanted something that looked distinctly patriotic. That said, excessive amounts of food dye freak me out, so that basically left me with…berries. I toyed with the idea of fresh berry French toast, but then I heard how ridiculous that sounded (Fourth of July French toast? Back to the drawing board…), and I eventually landed on cheesecake. So here you have it: very berry cheesecake squares!
It’s hard to tell from the photos, but in addition to the burst of color the berries on top add, the cheesecake squares themselves have a lovely pink tint, thanks to the pureed raspberries mixed in. You can use any combination of berries you like – whatever looks good to you! I even splurged and bought a quart of Michigan-grown strawberries, which were nearly too pretty to eat. They’re like little fruit jewels with their vibrant color and miniature size – aren’t they gorgeous?!
These very berry cheesecake squares will make a great addition to any Fourth of July spread – just be sure to keep them refrigerated or in a cooler until you’re ready to eat them!
What is your favorite thing about the Fourth of July?
- 14 ounces gingersnap cookies, crushed (I use Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 packages (225g each) light cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 ounces raspberries
- 10-12 ounces assorted berries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse gingersnap cookies until finely and evenly ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until mixed. Transfer the mixture into the pan and press down firmly with your fingers. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. After the crust is done baking, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- With a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one. Mix in the sour cream and cinnamon.
- In a food processor, puree 6 ounces of raspberries until liquefied. Strain the puree, discarding the seeds. Add the remaining liquid to the ingredients in the mixer, and mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture over the baked crust, and return to the oven for 30 minutes. It’s okay if the middle is still slightly wiggly, but the edges should be set. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 3-4 fours before cutting.
- Once chilled, carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting up the parchment paper. Cut into 24 pieces (4 by 6) and top with assorted berries.
- Makes 24 bars.
Those small cheesecakes are lovely… and very dangerous!!! I could eat the entire plate!
Haha yes, they are a bit dangerous in that regard! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
I completely agree that one of the things that makes the 4th so great is that you don’t have to go around buying presents. It’s simply a time for fun with friends and family 🙂 These bars look like they would be absolutely perfect for a picnic!
Thanks!! And I’m glad you agree 🙂
These look outstanding! I’m undecided as to whether or not it’s a good thing my significant other has planned to make these while I’m on travel – they could be too irresistible. Anyway, hopefully there’ll be some left when I get back.
Thanks!! Hopefully you’ll get to try them (but even if they’re all gone, you can always whip up some more – they’re quite easy to make!).
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
The 4th has always been my favorite holiday, too – ever since I was a kid. I usually fill up on corn on the cob, potatoes and watermelon but this year my husband requested a red white and blue dessert. This might be the one! He’ll be very relieved as he’s been watching me experiment with various chia seed pudding and silken tofu recipes with increasing anxiety but he loves cheesecake. Thank you!
Haha oh gosh, even reading your comment about filling up on corn, potatoes, and watermelon has me nearly drooling in anticipation…I think I have a problem! That’s hilarious that he’s been getting nervous about your experiments – which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to try a tofu-based cheesecake. Let me know how it goes if you end up making these 🙂 Happy (early) 4th!
Ngan R. says
Love these little cheesecake squares and all that beautiful fruit on top. So colorful! Gorgeous photos, looking at them makes me feel like it’s really summer. 🙂
Thanks so much – I agree, I really love how summery these feel!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
Ugh, these are too perfect! I love how neat and fresh and delicate these cheesecakes look! 🙂
Thanks!! Btw, love your blog name 🙂
These look amazing! Gimme some?
Thanks! I would if I could!
Beautiful photos of a beautiful cheesecake! I love that you incorporated the red and blue without food coloring, or even needing to make a flag design! They are simple and perfect. I wish I had one right now!
Aw, thanks so much! Glad to hear you appreciate the simplicity 🙂
Stunning photos! I bet those small cheesecakes are very delicious!
They really are – it’s hard to stop at just one bar!
This has summer written all over it! beautiful pics!
Definitely! And thank you 🙂
Sugar and Cinnamon says
Berry cheesecake squares sounds like the most perfect dessert ever! These look amazing 🙂
Thanks so much!!
these look yummy!
They certainly are – thank you 🙂
Good Food Everyday says
So gorgeous, beautiful!
Thanks, and thanks for stopping by!
Rachael | Spache the Spatula says
These are so adorable! And how perfect for the Fourth! I’m loving all the vibrant berry colors 🙂
Thanks! The color is what roped me in – the berries looked so good at the store that I couldn’t resist!
Lu @ Super Nummy, Yo! says
I loooove cheesecake. And your photos are looking super professional!
Thanks so much! Happy 4th 🙂
Looks delicious, love the berries on top!
Thanks – delicious indeed!
These are so beautiful! I can never say no to cheesecake. 🙂
Thank you!! Me neither 🙂
Katie @ Butterlust says
so pretty! and I’m totally on board with the freakiness of food coloring – unless of course it’s in sprinkles…then it doesn’t count, right?
Thanks!! For some reason, colored sprinkles don’t weird me out…and now I’m wondering if it’s weird that they don’t weird me out 😛 Thanks for stopping by!
Juvee @ShikenanAfricanShop says
Wow, I really love strawberries!
I’m sure you’d like these cheesecake squares then! 🙂
it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.
You’re very welcome, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂