Blueberry Basil Goat Cheese Cake Bars

When the theme for this month’s What’s Baking was annouced to “Bake something with Fresh Herbs”, I knew I wanted to make something with basil in it. You see, I’m not a huge fan of basil, so I figured I’d challenge myself to find a way to like it. I realize basil is a pretty harmless herb and no where near as offensive as cilantro is to some people, but it’s just not my favorite.

I tossed around a few ideas in my head and remembered this Blueberry Basil Goat Cheese Pie that Shannon posted a while ago. I starred it in my Google Reader and have had the best intentions to make it. But I don’t really like baking pies so it just hasn’t happened yet.

I liked the ideas of pairing blueberries with goat cheese and basil though, so I decided to mix those flavors into a dessert format that I prefer – bars. I found a recipe for some Blueberry Cheesecake Bars and just doctored it up by adding basil, swapping out half of the cream cheese for goat cheese, and using homemade blueberry sauce instead of store-bought blueberry jam.

When I was trying to figure out how much basil to add to these bars, I remembered these Strawberry Peach Basil Bars. When I made them last year, the basil flavor really wasn’t very prominent after baking the bars. So I decided to put a LOT of basil in the bars. So much so, that the basil flavor slightly dominated these bars. I’ve reduced the amount of basil in the recipe below to reflect this.

I loved this flavor combination but some of Hubby’s coworkers would call the flavors intriguing… The bars were borderline savory with the addition of the goat cheese. Feel free to play around with the amount of goat cheese vs cream cheese in the recipe. If you like the flavor of goat cheese, go with the full 8 oz. If you’re not a huge fan of goat cheese, you can use all cream cheese, or some combination between.

I am submitting this for June’s What’s Baking, hosted by Jillian of JBean Cuisine. This month’s theme was to Bake with a Fresh Herb!

One Year Ago: Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Strawberries and Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes (aka, Quintuple Chocolate Cupcakes)
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes and Homemade Coleslaw
Three Years Ago: Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Toasts

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Blueberry Basil Goat Cheese Cake Bars

Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese make a great pairing in these surprising bars

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients:

For the Cookie Crust
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp ice water

Cheesecake Filling
8 ounces softened cream cheese
8 ounces softened goat cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup blueberry jam, or homemade blueberry sauce
3/4 cup finely chopped basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Stir on lowest setting. Add butter and continue to stir until the dough forms a ball. Add cold water if the dough is not coming together.

Press dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until crust is lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes.

While cooling, prepare filling. Mix softened cream cheese, goat cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended.

Add eggs and mix just until eggs are incorporated.

Stir in chopped basil.

After crust cools for 30 minutes, pour cheesecake filling evenly over the crust.

Spoon blueberry jam or sauce randomly on top of filling and then swirl to combine.

Bake at 350 for approximately 35-45 minutes or until center is set. Allow to cool in pan.

Recipe adapted from Framed Cook

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12 Responses to “Homemade “Instant” Pancake Mix and Blueberry Pancakes”

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    1
    Sara — April 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    These pancakes look perfect! I don’t make pancakes that often, but this mix would be an easy throw together to keep in the freezer. Yum!

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    Amy Kingman — April 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Great idea to freeze the mix. I have been making our pancake batter from scratch for a while now, and it’s nearly impossible to go back to the boxed stuff! They just taste flavorless and cardboard-y. I had been reluctant to make mix ahead of time because I didn’t want it to go bad. Thanks for the idea!

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    Lauren — April 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    What a great idea to have a homemade pancake mix on hand!

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    Nancy — April 2, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    A good substitute for buttermilk – since most of us don’t keep it on hand, but do have milk in the fridge:

    1 TBS white vinegar with enough milk added to make 1 cup. Allowed to sit for at least ten minutes, this mixture will clot up and mimic buttermilk sufficiently for most recipes.

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    Memória — April 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Those pancakes look amazing!! Oh my goodness.

    i think it is a great idea about freezing milk, too. I buy whole milk for baking only so I need to do that.

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    SimplySweeter — April 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Wow. Those look so good I might have to whip some up…..like…NOW.

    http://www.simplysweeter.blogspot.com

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    Jen — April 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar in the substitute for buttermilk provided by Nancy.

    One thing to note about this recipe though. Not only is the buttermilk needed for the chemical reaction, but it also provides a great flavor to the pancakes that I don’t think you get from using the substitute. Also, buttermilk will keep for a very long time in the fridge since it’s acidic.

    AB mentioned in his cookbook that there are only four thinks he will not make without buttermilk: cornbread, biscuits, waffles, and pancakes. I tend to agree with him.

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    Kelly — April 3, 2010 at 1:24 am

    What a great idea to make your own pancake mix and then when you want quick pancakes, you can have a healthy mix 🙂

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    9
    Kerstin — April 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Mmm, these look way better than a mix! Great tip to store the mix in the freezer too!

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    Sugar Bananas — April 6, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Yum! I love blueberry ‘anything’. Alton Brown recipes are always winners. If you’re looking for an even healthier pancake recipe, check out my ‘fluffy whole wheat pancakes’ on my blog. I mix batches of the dry ingredients and keep them in the freezer. Thanks for posting – I’m off to buy some blueberries! Oh, and I’m a new follower 🙂

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    Memória — April 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

    These pancakes look amazing!! Bookmarked!

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    Ashley — July 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hey Jen I am eating these pancakes at this very moment. They are so fluffy and filling! May I borrow this recipe for my blog and link it back to you??

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