Today is a very exciting day. Not only is it New Years Eve (happy new year!), but it's finally my turn to pick an Ellie Krieger recipe for Craving Ellie in my Belly! A few months ago, I won a copy of Ellie's new book, So Easy, through the group, so I knew I wanted to pick something special from it for my turn.
These No-Bake Lemon Cream Cheese Bars were a really obvious choice for lemon-obsessed little me. I made a few small changes based on ingredients I had on hand, and they were divine! These were the lightest, fluffiest bar-type dessert I've ever made. I'm not sure I like them more than a well-made traditional lemon bar, but they were definitely a refreshing change.
Big hugs to my fellow CEiMB members, (especially our fearless leader Sara)... I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and I've loved cooking along with you this year. Looking forward to much more Ellie goodness in 2010!
No-Bake Lemon Cream Cheese Bars
Adapted from Ellie Krieger's So Easy
Makes 16 bars
14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup pasteurized egg product (i.e. Egg Beaters)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons (1 small packet) powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water
1. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate, until crumbs resemble wet sand. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and pack crumbs firmly into the bottom of it. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and pasteurized egg product and beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and beat until fully incorporated, another 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and whisk until gelatin is entirely dissolved; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated. Pour the filling over the crust.
3. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until filling is firm. Slice into 2-inch squares using a chilled knife coated with cooking spray.