PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE BARS

INGREDIENTS

Pistachio Crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Pistachio Cheesecake Filling:

24 oz (3 blocks) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large eggs
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
Green food coloring (optional)
For the Pistachio Cream Topping:

1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
● In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, finely chopped pistachios, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
● Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the filling.
● Pistachio Cheesecake Filling:In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
● Add the granulated sugar and vanilla extract, and beat until well combined and fluffy.
● Mix in the sour cream until smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
● Fold in the finely chopped pistachios. Add green food coloring if desired, to achieve a pistachio green hue.
● Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust in the baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
● Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
● Remove from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to chill and set.
● Pistachio Cream Topping:In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until it begins to thicken.
● Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
● Spread the whipped cream evenly over the chilled cheesecake.
● Sprinkle the finely chopped pistachios over the top as a garnish.
● Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the cheesecake bars out of the baking dish. Slice into bars of your desired size.

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