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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14 Responses to “Blueberry Pie Bars”

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    1
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — August 13, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I just love blueberries and your bars look simply incredible!!

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    2
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — August 13, 2013 at 8:03 am

    These bars are so awesome!! Gorgeous!

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    3
    Shannon — August 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

    holy cow these look fabulous! i need more blueberries in my life, and quick- i’m already onto peaches so hoping i didn’t miss out 🙂

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    4
    Lynna — August 21, 2013 at 2:12 am

    These pie bars look amazing! I`m wishing I had blueberries right now!

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    5
    Nutmeg Nanny — August 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I love pie bars!! They look so delicious 🙂 I am loving this recipe!

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    6
    Laura — August 29, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Yum these are gorgeous. Love the changes you made.

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    7
    suzy — September 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Tried it, tasted awesome! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • beantownbaker — September 26th, 2013 @ 8:47 am

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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    8
    Lauren — October 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Made these and my family ate them in one day! Thanks for the great recipe!!

    • beantownbaker — October 6th, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

      So glad you enjoyed these. I have made them a couple times with different fruits and they’re always a hit.

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    9
    Robin — April 24, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Made these this past weekend using blueberries and blackberries in equal parts. I love the ease of the crumb crust and top. The only thing I will change when I make them again will be to add lemon juice and zest to the filling. I like the tartness of lemon with blueberries. Will make these with peaches when they are in season. Easy and tasty…thanks!

    • beantownbaker — April 27th, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      I’ve made these with peaches and they’re delicious – definitely do that this summer.

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    10
    Eugenie — July 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Tried these today because I needed to clear out some frozen blueberries. Used a small rectangle Pyrex dish instead, which worked fine. Added a bit of fresh grated nutmeg. Cut into 12 squares and served with ice cream. This is a keeper!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

      Love fresh nutmeg! Sounds great.

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