A few months ago, I had to make six cheesecakes for a client. At first, it all seemed daunting but you know what I realized that this was going to be amazing practice.
You can basically say I’m a cheesecake master at this point.
Making cheesecakes just comes so easy to me now!
But here’s the thing, I could make regular cheesecake, sure, but why keep things basic, ya know?
Instead, I could make small batch cheesecake like this one or cheesecake bars like these!
If you’re scared of making cheesecake, allow me to share some of my tips.
– Make sure all your ingredients are room temp. Perfectly smooth cheesecakes require room temperature ingredients. Similarly, you want to bring the cheesecake bars to room temperature after cooling and before serving.
– Make sure to grease the pan well so you can easily transfer the cheesecake to a plate.
– To avoid those dreaded cracks, use a tablespoon of cornstarch in your cheesecake batter. It firms up the batter giving it less of a chance to form cracks.
– Another way to avoid cracks, baking the cheesecake in a water bath. It creates steam and keeps the cheesecake from drying out in the oven. Also, don’t over mix, over bake, or cool too fast. If you over mix, you will let air into the batter. If you over bake or cool too fast, cracks may form too.
– Don’t open the oven while the cheesecakes are in the oven. Cheesecakes need steam to bake properly so if you open the oven, guess what escapes the oven? Steam! So hold that urge to open the oven to see how things are going. (don’t worry I have that habit too)
– Don’t stick a toothpick in the middle to see if it’s done. A cheesecake is done when the outer rim looks set but the middle jiggles when you gently shake the pan. It will continue to cook from the residual heat while it cools on the counter and in the fridge.
Bottom line: Making cheesecake requires patience but it will be worth the wait!
Ok so! With alllll that said, let’s make coquito cheesecake bars, shall we?
In case you don’t know, coquito (ko-key-toe) is puerto rican eggnog. It’s creamy, tastes like coconut, cinnamon, booze, and WAY better than eggnog.
Basically, they are similar but coquito is not as thick as eggnog because of all the booze in it. Latin people, ya know, we just love to party. ;)
So guess what these cheesecake bars tastes like!?! That’s right – HEAVEN.
I used the same flavors we all know and love about coquito and threw them all in here!
Now to make cheesecake bars, you don’t need a springform pan since we bake these in a square pan. So no water bath needed BUT still resist the urge to open the oven while it’s baking. K?
Also, make sure to cool THEN place in the fridge for a few hours for perfect coquito cheesecake bars.
That’s all folks! I hope you make these and absolutely LOVE them!
- 24 full-sheet graham crackers crushed
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 packages cream cheese (16 ounces) room temperature
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Ground cinnamon
- Shredded coconut toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8x8 square pan with parchment paper and grease the pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix graham crackers, butter, and sugar together. Pour crust mixture into the pan and press down using the bottom of a cup. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, mix together cream cheese, coconut milk, cornstarch and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, rum, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix, while scraping down the sides, until all is well combined.
Pour the cheesecake filling on top of graham cracker crust and smooth evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the outer rim looks set but the middle jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Remove from oven, cool completely then refrigerate the cheesecake for 2-3 hours.
Remove the chilled cheesecake from the pan. Top with cinnamon and shredded toasted coconut. Cut into squares and enjoy!
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