Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gingersnap Cashew Cheesecake Bars

I'm on a cheesecake rampage this holiday season.  There are so many possible flavor combinations, I just can't stop.  Raw cashew cheesecakes are amazing, but I've always wanted one that came on a traditional cookie crust instead of a nut/date crust.  So, this is a semi-raw cheesecake recipe.  I also wanted to make cheesecake bars instead of a round cheesecake, but I pretty much botched that plan by using my mini tart pans.  I overdid it with the crust, so there was only a little bit of room left for the filling since the pans are so tiny.  Oh well!  That's what I get for trying to make things look overly cute.  :)  In the end, they were delicious and I got the crunchy cookie crust that I was after.
 
 
Crust
 
2 cups vegan gingersnap cookie crumbs (I used MI-DEL)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
 
Filling
 
3 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least an hour, rinsed, and drained)
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh fruit, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil.
  2. Crush the cookies in a food processor or place cookies in a freezer bag and smash with a rolling pin (or other heavy object) until finely ground.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and melted coconut oil together. Gently press the mixture down to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until the crust is set. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. 
  5. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend together all of the filling ingredients until very smooth.
  6. Pour the filling over the crust. Level the top, cover the pan with foil, and place in the freezer to set overnight.
  7. Once set, remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting up the foil edges. Top with your favorite fruit or sauce and slice. (I used sliced persimmons mixed with maple syrup)
Wouldn't it be nice to serve these at your holiday party?  Hell yes.  Alternatively, you could also make these in a muffin pan with paper liners.  The cheesecake possibilities are endless...and I'm determined to try them all.  :)
 
Enjoy!