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Lemon Cheesecake Bars




INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CRUST:

2 cup Nilla Wafers, crumbs (about 60 cookies)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon extract
1 lemon, zested
FOR THE COOKIE LAYER:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 lemon, zested
11oz white chocolate morsels (I use Ghirardelli)

yield: 24 LARGE BARS 
prep time: 4 HOURS, 30 MINUTES 
cook time: 30 MINUTES
   
DIRECTIONS:



Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse Nilla Wafer cookies with sugar until fine crumbs. Add in melted butter and pulse until combined.
Press crumbs into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Using the palm of your hand, press crumbs firmly until they are pressed into the bottom of the dish.
For the filling, beat cream cheese with sugar, eggs, lemon extract and lemon zest using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer. Beat until fluffy and smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Pour over cookie crust.
For the cookie dough, beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add in baking powder, salt and flour, beating until fully blended. Fold in white chocolate morsels. Scoop dough by large spoonfuls onto the top of the cheesecake layer. Use your fingertips to spread gently until covered.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned. The center will still be jiggly, that's okay. Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight). Slice and serve COLD. Enjoy!