Red Velvet Cheesecake Stars, Topped with Blueberries
The 4th of July? What? It is here already?
Growing up, the 3 months of summer always went by so quickly, much more quickly than any other 3 months of the year. Not to say I did not enjoy my summer breaks, but I actually loved school: elementary, Jr. High, High School, College, Graduate School… liked it all! I liked classes, I liked homework, I liked tests and exams…. yes, yes, go ahead and call me nerdy! The point is, as much as I liked school, summer still went by way to fast each year. This year is no different….maybe it has something to do with our upcoming wedding in 7 weeks? I don’t know, I think it is just the way summer always is.
The 4th of July really came up fast on me. Earlier this week, one of my best friends lost her father in a car accident at the end of their lane. My mind and emotions have been focused on that the whole week, and I forgot about the upcoming holiday. At 50, with 4 married daughters between 24-29 and 3 grandchildren on the way, he was too young to go. It is sad that sometimes it takes an event like that to remind us all how short life can be AND how important it is to spend time with family and friends.
This holiday weekend I challenge you (as well as myself) to take time away from work or those to-do lists you’ve been aiming to take care of, and just relax and enjoy some time with those around you!! With some amazing food, of course….
These star shaped Red Velvet Cheesecake bars topped with blueberries are a wonderful and festive treat for your 4th of July gathering!
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars (Modified from the McCormick Recipe)
3 cups Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
4 ounces Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons Red Food Coloring
Stir together cookie crumbs and sugar, then add melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add egg, 1 at a time. Beat on low speed until just blended.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups batter. Stir in melted chocolate and food color. Pour into crust. Top with remaining (plain) cheesecake batter.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate for a few hours.
Using a star shaped cookie cutter, cut into star-shaped bars. This is a bit tricky, you may need to use a toothpick to help keep the star in tact while raising up the cookie cutter. Top with fresh blueberries to complete the “red, white and blue” theme!