Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blueberry Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust

I love cheesecake and can never resist when dining at The Cheesecake Factory. I've tried just about every cheesecake on their menu!

As much as I love it, I've never tried my hand at it. So when I saw an awesome recipe for blueberry cheesecake bars with a hazelnut crust, I was super excited and had to try it at once! This recipe is from my new Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook, which is absolutely the best authority on sweet treats!

Peeled, skinned, and chopped hazelnuts, flour, sugar, & butter: ingredients for the best crust ever!

Mix ingredients in a food processor- the best and easiest way to go when making any kind of crust. Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan.

Press crust into the pan; 1 inch up the sides. Bake crust until golden brown. Set aside until the cheesecake batter is ready to go.

And now for the cheesecake batter. First beat the sugar and cream cheese.

The sugar and cream cheese batter will be creamy and shiny! Add eggs, one at a time.

After all the eggs are incorporated, the batter will be super smooth!

And now for the blueberries! I almost always weigh everything out when I bake now a days. I find that it makes everything easier. I like it better than measuring everything out with spoons and cups. Also, it's more accurate. You can never be too accurate when you're baking! =) Super helpful to have one of these scales around the house.

Fold in the blueberries.

Pour into the pre-baked crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the middle is set.

So...the recipe says to loosen the crust and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. But I seriously tried for like 20 minutes to get it out of the pan and couldn't. I tired everything! I even tried using my super giant pancake spatula, to no avail! So I gave up and left it in the pan, covered it up, and stuck it in the fridge to cool. After being chilled for the proper amount of time, it came out super easily!

The crust was SO amazing! Jing took some to work and his co-workers really enjoyed it. Apparently, the crust got a lot of attention! I love corner pieces, they're the best!

I couldn't decide how to serve the cheesecake, so I tried a few different ways! Here, I cut them into small, 1 inch bites. So cute! Great to serve as finger food at a party.

I made these into little individual cheesecakes. I used a round cookie cutter, 3 inches in diameter. These would be great to serve as dessert for dinner.

Lastly, I cut them into square bars! I really can't decide which way is my favorite! They're all so cute! =)


Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Hazelnut Crust
Essentials of Baking, Williams Sonoma, p. 56

For the crust:
1 1/4 (6.5 oz) cups all purpose flour
1/3 (3 oz) cup sugar
3/4 (3 oz) cup toasted, skinned, and finely chopped hazelnuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4- inch pieces

For the filling:
1 pound of cream cheese, at room temp
3/4 (6 oz) cup sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
3 large eggs, at room temp
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) blueberries

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 9x9 square baking pan.

In a food processor: to make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, hazelnuts, and salt and pulse 2-3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 8-10 times until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas.

Press crust mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake crust until golden and the top looks dry and firm, 15-20 minutes. set aside.

To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar and beat together until blended and smooth. Stir in flour until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the batter is smooth. Stir in the cream and vanilla and almond extracts and stir until incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared crust.

Bake until the center is set when you give the pan a gentle shake, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and using a small knife, loosten the warm cheesecake square form the sides of the pan. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or over night.


  1. I really shouldn't be looking at these when it's this late. Making me drool! I think my fave are the round ones b/c they're cute lil mini-me's of real cheesecakes.

  2. hehe, i'm right there with you, Grace! I really shouldn't be up blogging this late either! =)

  3. I gotta say... I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake OR of blueberries... but these look SO YUMMY!

    That crust sounds amazing too. Gotta agree that the little round ones are pretty darn cute!

  4. I'm not sure I'll need to buy the William Sonoma cookbook :-) The blueberry cheesecake bars look great! I'm going to have to try this!

  5. My mouth is watering, I can't wait to try these! Love your pink mixing bowl btw :)

  6. These yummy little cheesecake bites are the perfect size! Delicious! ;p

  7. Oh those looks good! I can't wait to try it w/ raspberries!

  8. can i use a 9x13 pan or a 8x8 pan instead of a 9x9 pan?

  9. with the 8x8 pan, you'll have a thicker crust and a thicker cheesecake. you can compensate by not using all of the crust and the cheesecake mixture.

    with the 9x13 pan, you'll have a thinner cheesecake and a thinner crust. you might not have enough crust mixture to cover the entire pan AND also up the sides it. you can compensate by more making crust and cheesecake mixture...maybe a batch and a half? you might not need to use the entire half a batch though.

    with both options, you'll have to keep an eye out when you're baking. because changing the thickness of the cheesecake will change the baking time.

    the easiest might be to use the 8x8 pan and just wasting some of it.

  10. Thanks. I ended up buying a 9x9 pan. I didn't want to risk it. This recipe is great!!

  11. That blueberry cheesecake looks so good! What a great way to enjoy the blueberries!

  12. Judy, I am awed with these beautiful yummy little cheese squares...just awesome!

    Angie's Recipes

  13. Hi Judy

    I have a catering job coming up in a couple of months and was thinking of this as one of my finger food desserts. Do you remember roughly how many pieces you got out of this doing the one inch bites? Just want to cost it out before I go ahead.


  14. Judy,

    I've made this cheesecake 4 times in the past 4 months (and I'm back again for the 5 time)! I, along with my friends and family love the crust and cutting it in squares is so genius. I also decided to start baking it in the larger cupcake tins (the ones with 6 holes instead of 12) and it works great.


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