The recipe for lemon cheesecake squares originally appeared in Judy Volhart’s cozy murder mystery Feta and the Fat Bastard (Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series, Book 3). Have you tried this recipe? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lemon Cheesecake Squares
2 (8 ounces) bars of cream cheese (I use light)
1 egg, with the yolk and egg white separated
2 small packages of Pillsbury crescent roll dough (the regular, original size, 235g)
½ cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
Lemon zest (from your two lemons)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C)
Meanwhile, take a small baking dish and spray with cooking spray or coat with a thin film of butter or margarine. (I used a 9- inch by almost 9- inch dish but you can probably go a bit larger.)
Using one can of the crescent roll dough, press onto the bottom of your greased baking dish, making sure dough reaches all edges.
Next, zest both lemons. Use half of zest and combine with the juice from both lemons, cream cheese, sugar, egg white and almond extract. Mix with electric mixer until smooth then spread over crescent roll dough in your pan. Sprinkle coconut overtop.
Using second can of dough, place dough evenly over the filling, again making sure it reaches all edges. Brush the top with the egg yolk then sprinkle the rest of your lemon zest over the top. Last, but not least, sprinkle 2 to 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar overtop (I like to use four).
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until top is golden. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before cutting into squares, then refrigerate for about an hour, until well chilled. When ready, feel free to sprinkle with a thin dusting of icing sugar (what can I say, I love sugar. Plus, it looks so pretty).
Note: this must cool in the fridge for a good hour or more to properly set.