Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recipe Redo: Cheesecake squares

So often while cooking, I wish I had replacement recipes for my great dishes that taste so good, but are loaded with fat, sugar or things we are allergic to. That's why I have decided to start a series of recipe redos. Some will be old-fashioned standbys and some will be new. I am really interested in turning Southern standards into good and healthy (or healthier) versions of the the foods we love.

The first recipe I decoded to redo -- Cheesecake squares. I hope to have the privilege of changing many more recipes and I hope to keep the basic flavor and texture while taking away much of the fat, sugar and calories. This recipe doesn't contain milk and eggs but it does contain wheat. The original version starts with a cake mix and then a creamy cream cheese topping is added, then baked. This one is similar and I think it could be a great replacement for the original. The fats used are much healthier than the original and the sugar content is much lower. First I will list the redo, followed by the original recipe. Hope you like it. This recipe passed our family taste test.

Vegan Cheesecake Squares

Bottom layer
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons tapioca flour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer blend margarine and coconut oil until well mixed. Add brown sugar and blend well. Add flours and mix well. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Using a fork, pierce the top all over so that the filling can seep into the cookie crust.

8 ounces soy cream cheese (like Tofutti or Vegan cream cheese)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tapioca flour

Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix, well. (It will be creamy and a little fluffy.) Spread over the bottom layer and bake in the oven for 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.  It is done when the filling becomes firm and browns a bit. Don't overcook!

Below -- the original recipe.


Cheesecake Squares (Original Recipe)

Bottom layer
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 egg

12 ounces (1-1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
1 box confectioner's sugar
1 extra-large or jumbo egg (if eggs are very small, add 2)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the bottom layer by melting the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds, add the cake mix and egg until well-mixed. It will have a dough-like texture. Line a jelly roll pan or cookie pan with sides with parchment paper and mash the dough into the bottom of the pan. If not using parchment paper, spray the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Don't spread the dough up the sides. This will be a thin layer.

In a mixing bowl, best the cream cheese and add the Confectioner's sugar and egg with the mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture on top of the bottom layer. Make sure the the filling covers the bottom layer but it doesn't have to go all the way to the sides of the pan, it does need to completely cover the dough mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is firm and lightly browned. Cracking on the top is normal. Allow to completely cool. Lift the entire pan of bars onto a cutting board and cut into squares. I like using a pizza cutter. Makes approximately 30 large or up to 45 smaller bars.

1 comment:

  1. I like the 're-do' recipe (and the original recipe looks good too!) Nice to hear that the re-do passed the family taste test - may have to try it! thanks for sharing both recipes, Joanie