I love love love lemon desserts. Tangy, sweet, tart, epic. They are everything in one bite.
I also love cheesecake. Pre-plant-based days I used to be famous for my special cheesecake torte that I used to top with fresh fruit and apricot glaze. I had some tricks up my sleeve. Haven’t made that in years, but will be veganizing it very soon. Cause that sh*t was good.
For some reason I’ve been craving some lemon cheesecake bars. I couldn’t get the craving out of my brain / taste buds for over a week. Thus, on Friday night, I decided it was time to transform my craving into a reality and got to work in my pseudo-kitchen.
If you want to know how I cook, I’ll have you know I do all my prep work on my desk which requires me to move things off my desk (like books and my computer) and move things onto my desk (like my food processor, mixing bowls, utensils, ingredients, and my cutting board. Why do I do this? I literally have *zero* counter space…#newyorkproblems. Which if you knew how much my rent was, would probably make you very upset. Sadly, I’m somehow used to these quirks of NYC and accept them for what they are.
And therefore, I make almond chia oat crusts and lemon vegan cheesecake on my desk in my living room. And then I bake the cheesecake bars in my toaster oven in my bedroom.
Now you may be asking, why do you have a toaster oven in your bedroom?
Well, I will have you know that I actually DO have an oven in my apartment, but it has been broken since I moved in and my super still hasn’t fixed it. So I took matters into my own hands. This wasn’t as easy to do when my toilet broke. That sucked – I lived without one for 5 weeks. And again, if you knew how much my rent was, you’d probably feel very upset.
Back to these bars: the healthier crunchy/chewy nutty oaty crust is delightful and makes these bars like 5% healthier. But honestly they’d also be wonderful and possibly tastier with a regular graham cracker crust. I ended up going this route because of what I had on hand and was pleased with the result. But you do you. I’m not in your kitchen watchin’.
So many these bars and #blessup with lemon goodness.
And again, welcome back to kbaked. Feels good to be home 8-).
Ingredients – Filling:
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 cup canned coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- juice and zest of 2 lemons
Ingredients – Crust:
- 1/2 cup almond meal or 1/2 cup almonds, pulsed
- 1/2 rolled oats, pulsed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 300 °F. Zest lemons and then juice them. Set zest and juice aside.
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust and pulse until a soft, sticky crumb forms. If mixture does not hold together well, add more maple syrup and/or coconut oil, 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Lightly oil a 9×9 inch dish. Press crust mixture into greased dish. Set aside.
- In a bowl, combine softened vegan cream cheese, canned coconut cream, vanilla, and lemon juice and zest. Mix with an electric beater or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes.
- Pour filling into crust and place in the oven until lightly browned and set, about 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before enjoying. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Taste best kept cold.