It’s Margarita Time

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Margarita Cheesecake Bars with a Pretzel and Cookie Crust

This is one of those recipes that I came up with accidentally.  Sometimes I have bakers block and can’t think of anything new or interesting to make.  I was inspired by Victoria’s cookies and wanted to do something with lime and salt.  Then I remembered the cream cheese in my refrigerator and eventually these Margarita Cheesecake Bars were born.Margarita Cheesecake Bars with a Pretzel and Cookie Crust

Thanks to a combination of Vienna fingers and pretzels, they have a wonderfully balanced sweet and salty crust.  Topped with a layer of light but creamy lime cheesecake they become a perfect summer treat.  The lime and the salt reminiscent of a margarita and who doesn’t like that?

Margarita Cheesecake Bars with a Pretzel and Cookie Crust

Ok, I’ll be honest- I’m not the biggest margarita fan.  I prefer to save my sugar calories for more important things like dessert.  Cheesecake and a Vodka Soda with lime juice for me, please.

Margarita Cheesecake Bars with a Pretzel and Cookie Crust

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Margarita Cheesecake Bars

Yield: Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Vienna Finger (or vanilla sandwich cookie of choice) crumbs (about 6 cookies)
  • 3/4 cup salted pretzel crumbs (about 1 1/2 cups of small pretzels)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 8-ounce blocks light cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (~2 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cooking Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cookies, pretzel crumbs, butter, sugar and salt
  4. Press crust mixture into prepared baking pan and bake for ~7 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside
  5. Using an electric mixer and the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese on high for a few minutes until creamy
  6. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat into cream cheese
  7. Beat in eggs, lime juice and vanilla
  8. Stir in flour
  9. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust and bake for 25 minutes or until firm and edges are separating from pan

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Adapted from Eagle Brand

Margarita Cheesecake Bars with a Pretzel and Cookie Crust

Do you drink margaritas? If not, do you have a go-to drink?

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33 Responses to “It’s Margarita Time”

  1. Maris (In Good Taste) June 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    These look amazing. I love the Vienna finger crust and can’t wait to make these!

  2. Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy & Healthy June 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Simple math tells me I’d love these.
    Margaritas? Good. +
    Cheesecake? Amazing. =
    Get at me immediately.

  3. Simply Life June 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I usually just stick with wine but I would definitely enjoy margaritas in this form!

  4. Beth June 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Pretzels in the crust? That is genius! This looks amazing!!

  5. Ashley@BakerbyNature June 7, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    I love hearing those 3 special words – ” it’s margarita time!”
    What a creative crust; everything sounds delicious about these cheesecake bars!

  6. Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I agree with Beth. The pretzel crust is genius. But now, I am thinking of potato chip crust…for brownies? Maybe. Oh, the back and forth inspiration :)

    • KeepItSweet June 8, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      i love that idea! you always have the best flavor combo suggestions!

  7. Jenn {Cookies Cupcakes Cardio} June 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    These sound awesome! I am definitely a margarita fan. This weekend at my friends’ bridal shower, we had “Beer-garita’s!” They were surprisingly delicious…and went down, way too easy.

    • KeepItSweet June 8, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      I’ve never had a beer-garita! Sounds so interesting!

  8. Shauna from Piece of Cake June 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Ooh, do I ever drink margaritas, girlfriend. And combining it with cheesecake is PERFECTION. Looks fab!

  9. Jessica @ How Sweet June 8, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    I would absolutely love these!

  10. Joanne June 8, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    The thing I love most about margaritas is the salt rim. And you’re right…I’d SO much rather have it in cheesecake form! Love this!

  11. The Teenage Taste June 8, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    You got me at cheesecake! I am a sucker for cheesecake! :-D

  12. blackbookkitchendiaries June 8, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    this looks soooo good and so bad for bikini season!! LOL!:) thank you for sharing this.

  13. Jen @ keepitsimplefoods June 8, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Love margaritas, but I agree with you about saving up the calories for dessert! ;)

  14. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels June 8, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I love how you used pretzels in these bars. They look sooooo good!

  15. brandi June 8, 2011 at 9:04 am #

    using pretzels is such a good idea! we would love these.

  16. Monica June 8, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Oh, yes, I love margaritas! My summer favorite. This is another clever recipe, Lauren. Love the way you used pretzels to get the salt in there–a must with my margaritas! Is it okay to drink margaritas while eating your margarita bars? I don’t think you can go wrong there. :-)

    • KeepItSweet June 8, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you, Monica! I think not only is that okay but it is recommended:-) Sounds like a perfect happy hour!

  17. Pam June 8, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    No that’s my kind of cheesecake! The bars look really tasty.

  18. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite June 8, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    These look SO good! I love anything with a twist of citrus – perfect for summer! I’m more of a red wine girl than cocktails!

  19. Veronica June 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    I don’t drink but I LOVE to bake with alcohol! It really amps up the flavor. I love what you did here. I now remember I have a margarita cake recipe I’ve been saving for two years and really need to bust it out. Thanks!

  20. thehealthyapron June 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    mmm! You are seriously SO talented! I wish I could just randomly come up with recipes! :)

    • KeepItSweet June 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

      Thank you, Erin! I didn’t used to do this much but having the blog has challenged me to really start getting creative in the kitchen.

  21. Anna June 8, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    can’t wait for sunday bake time. looks so good. thanks for another amazing post love. would love if you stop by to see pics of my latest celebrity trend report and my new favorite wedges. xoxo

    http://www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

    Don’t forget to follow on twitter for all the latest celebrity fashion news from an LA stylist.

    http://twitter.com/#!/fashboulevard

  22. Taylor June 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    DEFINITELY a big fan of margaritas…these bars sound amazingly delicious!!

  23. The Minister June 9, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    You gotta figure out a way to incorporate some tequila! After all, tequila is the essence of Margarita Time!

    • KeepItSweet June 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      Very good point!

  24. Florida Foodie June 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Have you ever made homemade pretzels?

    My favorite drink is Cherry Vodka with Diet Coke! I have introduced many people to this fabulous drink. It tastes exactly like a cherry coke.

    • KeepItSweet June 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

      I’ve never made homamade pretzels but I bet it would be fun! Love the idea of that drink.

  25. jenna laughs June 10, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    YUM! I love this. I would never think to put pretzel crumbs in a cheesecake crust. Brilliant.

  26. Pretty. Good. Food. June 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Margarita’s are definitely my go-to drink. These sound great! I would like a bite ASAP :)

  27. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts July 30, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    LOVE margaritas! Don’t have them often because I too like to save my calories for other things :) These cheesecake bars sound delicious! Great crust!