One of my most favorite frozen drinks is a piña colada. I absolutely love the sweet flavors of pineapple and coconut, and this is always my very first drink on any type of tropical vacation. Such a perfect reminder that life is too short…sit back and enjoy every sip.
What better way to enjoy these fresh flavors than paired with cheesecake? Even better, cheesecake made with an usual main ingredient – cottage cheese rather than cream cheese. I know what you’re thinking – cottage cheese is lumpy, and cheesecake should be smooth. That’s 100% correct, and the “problem” is solved by running the cottage cheese through a food processor or blender in order to reach that silky smooth consistency.
This is the perfect summer treat and I absolutely promise you’ll get rave reviews!
Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars – adapted from Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars, Cooking Light, March 2007
1 C graham cracker crumbs
2 TBS flour
2 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS canola oil
1 TBS water
1 C cottage cheese
1/2 C sugar
1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 TBS pineapple juice (from can of pineapple)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 C shredded coconut
1. Toast coconut: arrange coconut in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, shaking pan every few minutes for even cooking. Cool and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350. To prepare crust, combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Add butter, oil, and water. Toss well. Press mixture into bottom of 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.
3. To prepare filling, run cottage cheese and cream cheese through a food processor or blender until very smooth. Add pineapple and lemon juice at this point so that they blend easily. Pour into bowl; add sugar, lemon rind, vanilla, dash of salt, and eggs. Mix well. Pour over cooled crust. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. To ensure cheesecake is done, shake the pan; the center should not jiggle. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Wrap and place in fridge; chill for at least 2 hours.
4. Cut cheesecake into bars. Immediately before serving, place several pineapple chunks and a bit of coconut on top of cheesecake bars. Note – if you’re like us and this dessert will last you several days, keep the cheesecake bars separate from the pineapple (which can be wrapped and placed in the fridge) and the coconut (which can be wrapped and left on your counter.) Assemble your cheesecake bars immediately before each serving – otherwise the juice from the pineapple will quickly leave your cheesecake bars a soggy mess!