frozen apricot curd-cheesecake bars

August 18, 2012

in Frozen Treats

I’m a determined (i.e. stubborn) person. When I get a vision for a recipe, I become even more focused than usual, determined to execute the idea in a specific way. I had leftover apricot curd from my tart and envisioned using the curd in a layered apricot-cheesecake popsicle. I made the popsicles (and fussed over the layers meticulously), only to find that the popsicle sticks didn’t set when I tried to unmold them. Refusing to admit defeat, I made a fresh batch of apricot curd and tried again; no luck. Somewhat frustrated, I spooned the mixture out of the molds and shoved it in the freezer, hoping for a new idea.

My new idea came later, specifically at 4 AM during a restless night’s sleep. I wasn’t sure if using the mixture in the style of an ice cream sandwich would work, but I decided to try anyway (at a more reasonable hour!). Happily, the dessert came together on my third try. The sweet-tart curd is swirled together with a tangy cheesecake filling for a true taste sensation. I sandwiched the mixture between honey graham crackers in a nod to the graham cracker crust that usually accompanies cheesecake. These no-bake bars come together quickly and don’t require an ice cream maker. If you don’t care for apricots, try these with any type of curd you like.

Frozen Apricot Curd-Cheesecake Bars
1/2 cup apricot curd
2 apricots, diced
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
4 sheets honey graham crackers, crushed
12 sheets honey graham crackers, halved

Combine apricot curd and apricots in a small bowl. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and extracts in a food processor; process until smooth. Scrape cheesecake mixture into a medium bowl and fold in crushed graham crackers. Swirl in apricot curd, then chill mixture in the freezer for 2 hours.

Remove mixture from freezer and let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes. Spread mixture evenly onto 12 graham cracker squares; top with remaining squares. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Yield – 12 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 168
Carbs – 28

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36 Comments

1 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) August 18, 2012

What a great idea, Laura. These sound amazing! I smile at your comments because I get like that sometimes, too. I’ve had ideas strike in the middle of night but I don’t think they’ve been as brilliant as this. Super like! :)

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2 Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } August 18, 2012

When I can’t sleep, I think about recipe combinations too. :-) Your sleepless night produced a wonderful recipe. Looks so tasty and perfect for summer!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

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3 Cookie and Kate August 18, 2012

Love this idea, Laura! I totally obsess over recipe concepts, too. This frozen treat is perfect for this time of year!

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4 Liren August 18, 2012

I admire your tenaciousness, and look at the result! Wow! I can just taste it :)

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5 Patty August 18, 2012

I like this combination Laura;-) I grew up at a time(LOL) when graham crackers, all by themselves were considered a treat like cookies but a little icing or a filling takes these treats over the top for a special occasion. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and a wonderful treat, I am an apricot lover;-)

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6 Carol | a cup of mascarpone August 18, 2012

I could have been the one writing your post, Laura, it sounds so familiar!!! The results of all your efforts look amazing! I love anything sandwiched between graham crackers!

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7 Liz August 18, 2012

Apricot curd and cheesecake filling? Sign me up for a half dozen of these fantastic babies!

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8 Valerie August 18, 2012

Your persistence paid off beautifully! Brilliant idea to turn graham crackers into the “bread” of an ice cream sandwich!!

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9 Jen @ Savory Simple August 18, 2012

I really need to try apricot curd. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water!

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10 Lora @cakeduchess August 18, 2012

I love apricots in the summertime and this is a fantastic filling for simple and delicious graham crackers. I brainstorm recipe ideas sometimes at night. Better than counting sheep;)

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11 Suzanne August 19, 2012

Awesome Laura! I hate when I’m trying to sleep and my mind keeps turning out recipes most of the time I can’t remember it in the morning but you did a fabulous job on re-creating your failed popsicle idea, just perfect.

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12 suzanne Perazzini August 19, 2012

Well done with the persistence. They look good but I do worry about the ooze factor when you bite into them. But then many desserts and slices are messy but delicious all the same.

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13 The Café Sucré Farine August 19, 2012

what a fun innovative treat! You didn’t know that your curd was kist waiting to be transformed into these delightful bars!

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14 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts August 19, 2012

Apparently it pays to not give up! These bars look perfect for the end of summer!

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15 Deb August 19, 2012

Apricots are my favorite early summer fruit. I can’t get enough of their tangy sweetness. I made lots of apricot jam this year, but didn’t think to try making curd. That is a most splendid idea! I also will try to create a recipe and fail several times before I cave and let myself be taken in another direction. At first I feel defeated and then remember I have gained knowledge that I would not have gained any other way!

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16 Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers August 19, 2012

It’s funny how our ideas come at odd hours. Sometimes, mine also come at around 3 – 4 AM and I have a hard time sleeping thinking of doing it as soon as I wake up. I am also very persistent when I am thinking of making something. I don’t give up, like you. For that the recipes come out good, because of trials and errors. This seems to be a very good recipe Laura! Sei bravissima!

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17 Jen L | Tartine ans Apron Strings August 19, 2012

So I’m not the only one who thinks about food at 4 am! I’m so glad…! LOL! Laura, this looks like a piece of heaven! Wonderful work, my friend!

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18 Mercedes August 19, 2012

I love this idea! It’s kind of like a “deconstructed cheesecake”! You are so like me, up in the middle of the night thinking of new recipes!

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19 kyleen August 19, 2012

These apricot cheesecake bars look so yummy. I admire your persistence–that’s definitely a good trait to have when cooking and baking. I remember I was trying to make lemon meringue pie and everytime, it would weep and I just couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong so I ended up making the pie seven times until I got it right. Needless to say, my family doesn’t like lemon merignue pie very much anymore.

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20 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 20, 2012

Ooh I really wish I had some of that apricot curd now! And while I’m at it peach curd too! :D

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21 Baker Street August 20, 2012

holy moly! good thing you’re determined – else this amazing recipe wouldn’t have been featured today! LOVE the idea. I wish I could come over for a bar to two! :)

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22 Lan | angry asian August 20, 2012

you really are determined! these look wonderful.

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23 Laura @ Family Spice August 20, 2012

Kudos to you for not giving up! Mmmm… cheesecake and apricots. Heaven!

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24 Nami | Just One Cookbook August 20, 2012

Hmm your statement about not getting the successful results actually taught me something. I always “imagine” that great bakers have just pure natural talent to bake amazing desserts. I know I’m just always making excuses that I cannot bake because of lack of my talent. LOL! It’s funny but I always thought whenever you bake, everything comes out like how you presented on your blog. Now I know it’s due to your determination to get the best result. Dessert making always gives me this unclear feeling while making, mostly because I cannot taste it or find the result till it comes out from the oven or freezer/fridge. That is very uneasy feeling for me as I can fix something while I cook meals. Anyway, I know I need to keep trying and hopefully my years of baking experiences will teach me something. Thanks for the encouragement and delicious bars. It’s great for warm days like we are having. Sorry I think I wrote too much!

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25 Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking August 20, 2012

third time’s a charm.
I have these stubborn ideas from time to time when I’m just not giving up on a recipe until I’m very pleased with the results. Right now I’m working on a cottage cheese cheesecake and even if it takes me until next summer, i’m gonna do it!
Lovely bars Laura. Glad you didn’t give up

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26 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction August 20, 2012

I’m glad that you didn’t give up! This sounds wonderful!

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27 Averie @ Averie Cooks August 20, 2012

great job on this and being persistent – even worse than a recipe not working the way you want it (well for me) is that it does work, I spend tons of time making it, and then for whatever reason, the photography gods will not smile and nothing quite works and the food is not done justice by way of the photos. That’s my usual issue!

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28 Riley August 20, 2012

I am completely obsessed with apricots and these look wonderful!

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29 Jenn and Seth August 20, 2012

such a great idea! these look so delicious and pretty!

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30 Terra August 20, 2012

I totally understand when a recipe does not go as planned, can be a challenge for sure. Your bars sound delicious….AND they would be awesome for when I travel for work:-) Yum, Hugs, Terra

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31 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) August 20, 2012

These are so creative and I love that you powered through until you loved it – I always find that so gratifying!

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32 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious August 20, 2012

So glad that the kitchen fails were turned into something amazing! And I love how ideas just come swimming in at 4AM!

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33 Jennifer @ Delicieux August 20, 2012

Looks like your persistence paid off Laura, these look fabulous! I love fruit curds but have yet to try apricot.

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34 shez August 20, 2012

It’s recipes like this that make me wish for long Summery days and a supply of graham crackers available in the shops nearby. Oh! And stone fruit! For apricot curd! Sigh.

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35 Magic of Spice August 23, 2012

Sorry about your popsicles, but these do seem to make up for it :) These are delightful and I would trade them for a popsicle any day!

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36 the wicked noodle August 24, 2012

I can totally relate to flops after inspiration, more flops then more inspiration – all for the same recipe! But sometimes our best ideas come from our failures, which clearly happened here. Such fun treats and so different from the typical ice cream sandwich. LOVE!!

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