These Berry Cheesecake Crumble Bars are the perfect marriage between cobbler and cheesecake. Featuring strawberries and blueberries in a creamy cheesecake filling with a shortbread crust and crumbly top.
Who’s ready for some serious chillaxin’ this weekend?
I know this girl is. This month has been CAH-razy busy so far. Not only are we celebrating two weddings, an engagement, and a graduation, but I’m also spending this month training my replacement at my full time job.
Did you guys catch that?
I’m leaving my full time job, the community organizer position I’ve held and loved for the past four years, at the end of this month.
Saying that makes me want to jump and down and poop my pants all at once. This is definitely one of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken and the feeling is both exhilarating and utterly terrifying.
Transitioning into full time blogging has long been on my dream list, but I just never thought it would be possible for us financially. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. I’m not making the big bucks on this space. But I am bringing in a little income and thanks to a lot of reassuring support from the Mr. (AKA: my sugar daddy), this move is totally possible for us. And I couldn’t be more excited or grateful for this opportunity.
I’m not going to pull any punches. Leaving my community organizing job has not been easy for me. I’ve loved this job. I’ve loved being immersed in this neighborhood. I’ve loved building relationships, fighting for a safer community, and seeing real change being made on my own street. It’s going to be hard to entrust these precious people to someone else.
But it’s time. It’s time to only work one full time job. I’m ready to have a weekend again. And I’m super excited to have some time to do things I really love, but just haven’t been able to fit in the past year. Things like reading novels and volunteering with the kiddos at church and actually working out every now and then.
So what does that mean for Neighborfood? Well, nothing and everything all at once. Not much will change here, especially in the next few weeks. I’ll still be posting recipes, telling stories, and being my weird self here three times a week.
But what it does mean is that this space will finally get some much needed attention behind the scenes. I’ll be working on improving the look and feel of the site, making it run super fast, and making it as user friendly as possible for all of you. Beyond that, I’ll be able to throw all of my energies into developing the absolute best content for my readers. After all, this space is really about you! I want to make your mouth water. I want to make you confident in the kitchen. I want to make your dinners less stressful and your birthdays more decadent. Over the next few weeks, look for a survey asking what you’d like to see in this space. This is your chance to shape the future of Neighborfood, and I can’t wait to hear from you!
In the meantime, I want to thank you all for being patient as I transition into this new role. Over the new few weeks, I may be a little slow to respond to comments or emails, but I promise I’ll be back in full force soon!
And guys? I want to thank you so much for making this possible. This wouldn’t even be a thing if it weren’t for you. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for pinning, and for sharing and making my recipes. It still surprises and delights me every time one of you contacts me to let me know you made one of my recipes. Being able to share my love of cooking with people all over the world is incredible. You have made this my dream job, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Now about these Berry Cheesecake Crumble Bars. They’re an adaptation of my Peach Cheesecake Crumble Bars, made especially for this season when berries are at their best. This is one of my all time favorite dessert recipes. It’s the best of so many worlds. A brown sugar shortbread crust, sweet tart blueberries and strawberries, creamy cheesecake, and buttery crumble. Imagine a berry cobbler and a cheesecake got all funky with it and ended up with a baby. That is these bars. I mean, portable cheesecake cobbler guys! It doesn’t get better than that.
These bars are fairly sturdy and travel well, so they’re perfect for toting to all those Memorial Day cookouts and summer picnics. They can be made ahead of time and served straight from the fridge or at room temperature. That way you can spend your day off doing the really important stuff like sleeping in, lounging on a lawn chair, reading a good book or gabbing with friends, and drinking an icy cold beverage.
Here’s to chillaxin’.
For shortbread crust:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup berry jam (I used mixed berry but strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry would all be great)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the shortbread crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 in baking dish with foil, then grease the foil on all sides.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until it begins to soften and smooth out, about 1 minute. Add sugar and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat until a cohesive dough is formed. Using your fingers, press the dough into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
For the filling:
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. To make the cream layer, beat cream cheese and sour cream on high speed until no lumps remain. Add sugar and beat another 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Spread the jam evenly over the shortbread crust then spread the strawberries and blueberries evenly over top. Pour cream cheese mixture over the berries. Set aside.
For the topping:
- In a small bowl, combine butter, flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Use your fingers or a fork to mix together until coarse crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake layer. Bake again at 350 for 30 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown and center is set.
Recipe by Neighborfood