September 21, 2018

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey

Lusciously creamy goat cheese cheesecake bars with a sweet and salty, cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust, layered with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey via forkknifeswoon.com

See those figs? I may have sideswiped a few people during the lunch rush at our local Whole Foods to nab them.

Originally, we were there picking up some apples for a slew of apple recipes I have planned over the next few weeks. On a related note, I really, really miss the apples in the Pacific Northwest. They are hard to beat.

…then I spotted these beauties out of the corner of my eye from across the produce section. One, single lone basket tucked in between some blueberries and concord grapes. Because figs are in season for about twelve minutes each year, and are so, so delicate, the ones at the grocery store are usually just… sad. But these figs were vibrant and fresh and plump and decidedly not sad.

I knew I had to have them, and with Henry strapped in the front carrier, we grabbed our Honeycrisps, abandoned our cart, and barreled our way towards the prize before another lucky shopper could be the wiser. Maybe since I had a baby in tow my enthusiasm came off as charming? Or maybe not. 🙈

And what better to pair with fresh victory figs than goat cheese? Especially when that goat cheese is baked into a wonderfully creamy, sweet and tangy, vanilla cheesecake, then topped with rosy fig slices and honey…

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey via forkknifeswoon.comGoat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey via forkknifeswoon.com

This goat cheese cheesecake begins with a classic graham cracker crust, and the interesting part comes in the filling, which is super rich and familiar with a welcome added tang from creamy goat cheese. I like mine with extra vanilla and a hint of lemon, and it’s a not-too-sweet, but oh-so-rich twist on the traditional.

Of course, we could stop there, and life would still be sweet. But to make things extra fancy – and delicious – we’re layering on a mosaic of fresh fig slices, and then drizzling the whole thing in honey, which ultimately seeps into the cheesecake, becoming all the more indulgent.

Because life is too short not to take full advantage of perfect figs.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey via forkknifeswoon.com

If figs are no longer in season where you live – or you have more personal shame and self-control when it comes to seasonal produce than I do – this goat cheese cheesecake is endlessly adaptable to any number of toppings.

Berries of course would be delicious. Peaches and other stone fruit would be fantastic. A drizzle of caramel or chocolate? Perfect.

Oh, and plain with just a simple drizzle of good honey never hurt anything. After the fact, I also thought some chopped pistachios would be pretty great with these fig and honey cheesecake bars too.

Choose your own adventure! And then tell me what you make! Happy baking!

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Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Figs and Honey via forkknifeswoon.com

Goat Cheese Cheesecake Bars with Fresh Figs

  • Author: Laura - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American, Italian, Middle Eastern

Description

Lusciously creamy goat cheese cheesecake bars with a sweet and salty, cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust, layered with fresh figs and a drizzle of honey.


Ingredients

for the crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs¹
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

for the filling:
12 oz cream cheese, at room-temperature
4 oz goat cheese, at room-temperature
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 large eggs, at room-temperature
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
optional: zest of one lemon

for topping:
4-6 medium fresh figs,² thinly sliced
1 Tbsp pure honey, or to taste


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about an inch overhang on two sides to create a sling. Set aside.

Make the crust: Use a food-processor to pulse together the graham crumbs, salt, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse a few times until combined.

Spoon the crumbs into the prepared pan then press down gently into an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, make the cheesecake: Add the softened cream cheese, goat cheese, and sugar to the mixing bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together on medium speed, until light and creamy, and no lumps remain. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Beat in the eggs, followed by the vanilla and lemon zest, if using.

Pour over the crust, and use an offset spatula to smooth the top into a smooth, even layer. Gently tap the bottom of the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles.

Bake until the sides of the cheesecake are gently puffed, and just beginning to color, 30-35 minutes. The center should still have just a tiny bit of jiggle to it, and the cheesecake will continue to cook as it cools. Remove from the oven and let cool to room-temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator and let set and chill thoroughly for 2-3 hours.

When ready to serve, slice the figs, and layer in a pattern over top the cheesecake. Drizzle or brush on honey, to taste. Once topped with the figs, the cheesecake bars are best served immediately.


Notes

¹ Expect to use about 11-12 traditional graham cracker sheets.
² The figs are so delicate and can get a little mushy and sad the longer they sit out, so slice them right before topping and serving. If figs aren’t in season, or tough to find, try using fresh berries, or thin peach slices, or another favorite!
³ The cheesecake itself can be made up to a day in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    October 1, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Such pretty bars, I love the fig and honey topping!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you, Laura!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Abigail
    September 21, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Fresh figs + goat cheese + cheesecake. What’s not to love? I am soooo going to make these this weekend!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      Such a favorite combo 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

      • Reply
        Abigail
        September 26, 2018 at 11:52 pm

        The cheesecake was a huge hit. Not quite as pretty as yours, but still quite delicious!

        • Reply
          Laura
          September 27, 2018 at 7:10 am

          Ahh, so happy to hear that! 🙂