*End of Summer Celebration!* Boozy Bonfire Cheesecake Bars

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Summer is coming to a close and it’s always a bittersweet time for me. I’m going to miss the beautiful, sunny days, but I’m also so excited for the fall and all the pumpkin spice goodies that I can’t wait to indulge in! In honor of the last week of summer, I wanted to make a treat we could enjoy while reminiscing about all the fun memories we made this summer. And it never hurts to throw a little something extra in there for us adults, right?! (My son is only 9 months old and isn’t eating sweets yet, so this treat is just for my husband and I – hence the booze!) My Boozy Bonfire Cheesecake Bars have the delicious flavor of S’mores with a kick of Irish Cream thrown in for an extra fun surprise!

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We begin by making the crust for the cheesecake bars.  In a large bowl, place your graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, and salt.  You can either buy pre-made graham cracker crumbs or make them yourself.  I had a box of graham crackers, so I placed the grahams in a large storage bag and used my rolling pin to crush them until they were the texture of sand.  You can also use a food processor to crush the graham crackers if you would prefer.

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Once you have the ingredients in your bowl, melt the unsalted butter and pour the golden goodness right in with your graham mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, stir everything together until it’s all been completely coated with the butter.  Once everything is mixed together, stir in your ¼ cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips.

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Line two 8” x 8” baking pans with parchment paper.  Divide your crust mixture evenly between the two pans, and then press it down into an even layer.  I like to spray my hands with nonstick spray and press the crust down, but you can also use the flat bottom of a measuring cup.  The crust is now ready for our cheesecake filling, yay!

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Preheat your oven to 350*F.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, place your softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, Irish cream liqueur, and milk.  Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture until it is nice and smooth.  Add your eggs and flour, then mix until it is thoroughly combined.

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Take your bowl off the stand mixer and with a rubber spatula, gently fold in your mini marshmallows and mini semisweet chocolate chips.

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Pour the decadent cheesecake filling evenly into the two pans and smooth the tops with your rubber spatula.  Place the cheesecakes in the middle rack of your oven.  Bake them for about 30 to 35 minutes.  I gently shake the pans to see if the middle of the cheesecakes jiggle, because that means they are not done.  Once the center of the cheesecakes stop jiggling and seem to firm up is when I pull them out of the oven.

Let the cheesecakes cool completely.  I like to make these the night before and chill in the fridge overnight.  Once completely cooled and set, trim the edges of the cheesecakes with a sharp knife.  Cut each cheesecake into 8 pieces.

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Now you get to use your imagination! Decorate the tops of the cheesecake bars with pieces of chocolate, toasted marshmallows, chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, or anything you’d like.  Now take your cheesecake bars and enjoy the last bit of summer we have left!  But be warned, these Boozy Bonfire Cheesecake Bars are so good they won’t last long (as soon as I took my last picture my husband couldn’t wait any longer and snuck a piece). 😊

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Boozy Bonfire Cheesecake Bars

Yields: 16 Bars

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Bake Time: 30-35 Minutes

 

Ingredients

For the Crust:

1 ¾ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar

½ teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, Melted

¼ Cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

 

For the Cheesecake Filling:

2 Packages (16 Ounces) Cream Cheese, Softened

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

½ Cup Irish Cream Liqueur

3 Tablespoons Milk

2 Eggs

2 teaspoons All-Purpose Flour

½ Cup Mini Marshmallows

¼ Cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Decorations (Chocolate Bars, Toasted Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, Graham Cracker Pieces, etc.)

 

To Make the Crust:

In a large bowl, place your graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, and salt.  Melt the unsalted butter and pour into the bowl with your graham mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, stir everything together until the butter has completely coated your graham mixture.  Once everything is mixed together, stir in your ¼ cup of mini semisweet chocolate chips.  Line two 8” x 8” baking pans with parchment paper.  Divide your crust mixture evenly between the two pans, and then press it down into an even layer.

To Make the Cheesecake Filling:

Preheat your oven to 350*F.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, place your softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, Irish cream liqueur, and milk.  Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture until it is smooth.  Add your eggs and flour, then mix until it is thoroughly combined.  Take your bowl off the stand mixer and with a rubber spatula, gently fold in your mini marshmallows and mini semisweet chocolate chips.  Pour the filling evenly into the two pans and smooth the tops with your rubber spatula.  Place the cheesecakes in the middle rack of your oven.  Bake them for about 30 to 35 minutes.  Let the cheesecakes cool completely.  Once completely cooled and set, trim the edges of the cheesecakes with a sharp knife.  Cut each cheesecake into 8 pieces.  Decorate the tops of the cheesecake bars with pieces of chocolate, toasted marshmallows, chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, or anything you’d like.  Serve and enjoy!

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