Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

I have a childhood confession. I used to steal blackberries from the neighbor’s yard; but it’s okay because my Mother made me do it. She doesn’t remember this, but I remember it vividly as if  it were  yesterday. We had an old man who lived behind us that had an amazing garden. He scared the living daylights out of me. His garden had wonderful plump blackberries. That garden of his was like something out of a Secret Garden. True story book material. It was somewhat magical and grand. He was always tinkering in his big garden so it was hard to find the time when he was not around. I think I had his nap time figured out though. Just when the moment was right, I would bring my little Tupperware container and seize a few of those berries.

Then I would run like hell.

Technically is it stealing if those berries are crossed over into your property by say a half an inch or two? 🙂 If I were in that house today I would simply make these bars and ask him for some berries. I’m sure he would have approved.

Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars


8 large cinnamon graham crackers; crushed to a fine meal to equal 1 generous Cup crumbs

3 Tbsp. confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:

2 (8 oz). bars (16 oz. total) of cream cheese; softened to room temp

1 Cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sour cream at room temp

3 Large eggs at room temp

1  1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

2 Tbsp. flour

1/3 Cup Blackberry seedless jam

1 Tbsp. water

fresh blackberries

Make the filling: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Stir in the vanilla bean paste. Add the eggs one at a time and combine until smooth. Stir in the flour. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the worker bowl to make sure all the cream cheese has been combined thoroughly.

1. Prepare an 8 inch pan with a double sling (so each side is covered) of tinfoil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F.

2. Pulse the graham crackers to a fine meal in either a food processor or blender; you should get about one generous Cup. Add the sugar and salt and melted butter and combine. Press into the bottom of your prepared pan and chill for 30 minutes. Bake the chilled crust for 10 minutes.

3. Prepare the filling while the crust chills.

4. Pour the filling into the pan and dot the filling with the blackberry jam by dropping teaspoons over the batter. Use a wooden skewer to swirl the jam. Lower the oven to 325 degrees.

5. Bake the bars at 325° degrees for 30-40 minutes until the filling is set but slightly soft in the center. let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack until set. Chill the bars for 2-3 hours until very cold and remove the entire pan of bars carefully using the sling. Peel away the foil. Cut into bars. Decorate the top with fresh blackberries is desired.

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