Carrot Cheesecake Bars

Is there anything better than cheesecake? We know how much our family loves this delicious treat, so we made it totally snackable and totally delicious. Combined with the earthy sweetness of carrots, these Carrot Cheesecake Bars are creamy, indulgent and even have a boost of omega-3 fatty acids. When you’re baking with Mirage, sharing a treat has never felt so good!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

For the base:

  • 145 g / 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 27 g / 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 g / 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 g / 1/4 tsp salt
  • 76 g / 1/3 cup Mirage margarine, melted
  • 30 g / 1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

For the filling:

  • 2 pkgs / 2 cups cream cheese, brick style, room temperature
  • 158 g / 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 g / 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 g / 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 g / 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 g / 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 g / 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 g / 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 g / 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 73 g / 2/3 cup carrots, finely grated, loosely packed

Directions

For the base:

  1. Preheat oven to 325℉ (160℃). Line an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 centimetre) square baking pan with parchment paper. Ensure there is about a 2 inch (5 centimetre) overhang on all sides, for easy removal.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add in the melted Mirage margarine and mix until the crumbs are coated. Transfer the mixture into the lined baking pan. Firmly and evenly press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Evenly sprinkle the crust with the pecans.

For the filling:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy; about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the eggs, one at a time, creaming well after each addition.
  3. Add in the lemon juice, flour, pure vanilla extract, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Cream on medium-low speed until well-combined.
  4. Spread half of the mixture over the graham crust. Sprinkle the grated carrots over the cream cheese layer. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over the grated carrots. Smooth the top.
  5. Place into the preheated oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the centre slightly jiggles. Turn off oven and leave door slightly ajar. Cool in the oven; about 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool completely at room temperature on a wire cooling rack. Once cooled, place into the fridge to chill and set; at least 3 hours. Once chilled, remove from pan with the help of the parchment paper. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut into 12 bars.

Chef Notes

  • If desired, use toasted walnuts or raisins in place of the toasted pecans.
  • For easy cutting, dip knife into hot water and dry with a clean towel before every slice made.

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