Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

A couple of weeks ago, I turned on the television and became entranced by Food Network Caters Your Vegas Wedding. For those unfamiliar, engaged couples entered a contest in which the grand prize was a wedding reception catered by Food Network. One of the many desserts featured was this one by Giada De Laurentiis. These looked too good to pass up. So, I found the recipe on their website, tagged it at del.icio.us, and anxiously awaited the opportunity to try it out.

Limoncello cheesecake squares

With company coming for dinner, I decided it was time. I got all the ingredients together and headed to the liquor store. Limoncello, I have learned, is a popular Italian liqueur made from lemons, alcohol, sugar, and water.

I followed the original recipe pretty closely. I recommend a pretty basic biscotti for the crust. Pick one that you think will complement the lemon flavors well.

After chilling in the refrigerator overnight, it was finally time to try them out. Oh, my. They are so good. Light, fluffy, smooth. The biscotti crust was just the right flavor to go with the lemon filling.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 40 minutes

These sweet, lemony Limoncello Cheesecake Squares are an absolute delight!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 8 ounces (227g) store-bought biscotti, ground into crumbs*
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 12 ounces (340g) whole milk ricotta, drained, at room temperature
  • 16 ounces (454g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) limoncello liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9"x 9"x 2" baking pan.
  2. Combine the biscotti crumbs, butter, and 1 tablespoon lemon zest until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 14 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cheesecake filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed (or a food processor), beat the ricotta until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar, and mix well.
  2. Add the limoncello, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons lemon zest.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition.
  4. Pour the filling mixture over the cooled crust in the pan.
  5. Place the baking pan in a large pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water is about halfway up the sides of the pan with the cheesecake.
  6. Bake 1 hour, or until the cheesecake is golden and the center moves just slightly when the pan is gently shaken.
  7. Cool the cheesecake bars completely on a wire rack. Then refrigerate 8 hours before cutting into bars and serving.

Notes

*I like to use a food processor to make fine crumbs, but use whatever method you prefer.

The cheesecake bars should keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network.

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