Why This Recipe Works
Cheesecake is just as delicious in bar form as it is in cake form—there's still a substantial graham cracker crust and a tangy, cooling, custardy cake layer. But cheesecake bars are much easier to make—no water bath or leaky springform pan required. For a supercreamy cheesecake filling, we thoroughly beat softened cream cheese in a stand mixer, scraping down the bowl and paddle as needed; this ensured a light, lump-free filling and avoided overmixing later, a problem which can result in a collapsed cheesecake. We wanted more tang than cream cheese alone could provide, so we bolstered it with sour cream and a modest amount of lemon juice. We saw little need for improvement to the traditional graham cracker crust, but it did benefit from the addition of a couple tablespoons of flour, which made it sturdier.