Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars

August 15, 2016

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Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

Have I ever told you about that time when I didn’t like cheesecake? As in, the first 27 years of my life. Until about six years ago, I thought cheesecake was one of the worst foods in the world and I stayed far, far away from it. I hate to even admit that because I pride myself on the fact that I’m the opposite of a picky eater and there are very few foods that I dislike. But I just couldn’t get behind cheesecake… Until I could. I’m not quite sure what changed me, but I think it had something to do with my sister making a cheesecake that involved chocolate. That chocolate cheesecake was like the gateway cheesecake drug. After that, I was hooked.

To be fair, cheese is generally a savory food, you know? So, the idea of cheese in cake just skeeved me out, no matter how much I love cheese. I don’t really blame myself, but I do feel a bit of regret for living all of those years with cheesecake in my life. So, I’ve been majorly making up for it lately. Today I’m even combining it with a childhood favorite to attempt to make up for all the cheesecake I missed out on when I was a kid.  These Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars make me feel like I’m a kid again. A kid who likes cheesecake.

Are frosted animal crackers not the most indulgent and delicious snack? My only gripe is that these were the most vibrantly colored animal crackers I could find. Apparently, those really bright pink “Circus Animals” are not sold in my part of the country. I’d pretty much be willing to move for them… Or at least to pay a lot of money for them on Amazon.com, so don’t be surprised if you see them here in the future. Anyway, you need lots of these crackers for the cheesecake bar crust.

Frosted-Animal-Cracker-Cheesecake-Crust

The cheesecake filling is pretty standard, but obviously I funfetti-ized it because I wanted it to match the frosted animal crackers. And also because, if you can make something funfetti, why wouldn’t you?

frosted-animal-cracker-cheesecake-filling

After baking, I cut the cheesecake into squares and topped each with a frosted animal cracker. Do you ever look at animal crackers and wonder what the heck kind of animals they’re supposed to be? I’m pretty sure the below looks like a buffalo, but really, it could be anything.

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

Actually, maybe this is a buffalo… I’m really not sure. I am sure that I absolutely love how vibrantly my rainbow sprinkles showed in the cheesecake.

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

Of course, I also loved the way these bars tasted. Initially, I was going to crush up some of the animal crackers to use in the cheesecake filling, but I’m glad I didn’t because the flavor came through perfectly in the cookie crust and the cheesecake shined with its vanilla notes. If you had told 10-year-old me that I’d willingly make a cheesecake with no chocolate or peanut butter involved, I wouldn’t have believed you. Then again, I also wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me I wouldn’t always want to wear Adidas Sambas.

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

These are obviously totally kid-friendly. But that doesn’t mean they’re for kids only. In fact, if you haven’t had a frosted animal cracker since you were a kid, this is officially my plea for you to try again. I have a feeling once open, that bag won’t last very long in your house.

On that note, can we take a second to talk about why animal crackers aren’t called animal cookies? Especially when they have frosting on them? Is that supposed to somehow make us feel better about ourselves? Because I think it’s working a little bit.

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

But who am I kidding… Put cheesecake on it and I’ll eat it. Put rainbow sprinkles in it and I’ll eat even more of it.

I hope these Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars brighten up your Monday a little bit! I have a feeling this is going to be a longggg week… But I also have lots of fun stuff planned and also it’s still summer and I am determined to enjoy this weather with everything I have in me. Even in all of its nearly 100-degree humid glory.

Have you always been a cheesecake lover? Believe it or not, I have another fun cheesecake recipe coming your way very soon! Clearly I’m making up for lost time!

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: about 12 bars
Ingredients
Frosted Animal Cracker Crust:
  • 1 bag (13 oz.) Frosted Animal Crackers
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ Tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
Frosted Animal Cracker Crust:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil so foil is overhanging on two sides.
  2. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray.
  3. Place frosted animal crackers in a food processor and pulse until they're finely ground.
  4. Add melted butter and pulse until well blended.
  5. Put animal cracker crumbs into baking pan and press down into even layer on bottom of pan.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes and then remove from oven.
Cheesecake Filling:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
  2. Add sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt to bowl and beat until mixture is smooth.
  3. Fold in rainbow sprinkles.
  4. Pour batter into pre-baked cookie crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  5. Place back in oven for 30-35 minutes, until filling is just set.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  7. Place cheesecake bars in fridge to chill for at least two hours.
  8. Use foil overhang to take bars out of pan. Remove foil from bottom and set on cutting board.
  9. Slice cheesecake into squares and top with additional frosted animal crackers.

Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars -- Funfetti cheesecake with a circus animal cookie crust! | wearenotmartha.com

10 Responses to "Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake Bars"

  1. I used to love the frosted animal crackers!! These look so colorful and delicious.

  2. This seriously had me smiling from the first line! What a fun idea. Also, I was laughing out loud when you kept saying they looked like buffalo ?. I seriously can’t wait to try these – cheesecake is THE BEST.

  3. I was off the cheesecake bandwagon for the longest time too! But how can I resist this frosted animal cracker version? Impossible.

  4. Hahahaha! Well I’m super thrilled you indulged in some gateway culinary drug – chocolate cheesecake and changed your mind! Because these bars are all sorts of awesome!! I will forever have a place in my heart for animal crackers, so obviously I am LOVING these bars! Sprinkles AND frosted animal crackers!? SWOON! LOVE IT! Cheers, girlie!

  5. Juliana says:

    Sues, these bars are so much fun…I love all the colors in it!
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  6. Okay this post reminded me that there was a time a long, long time ago when I didn’t like cheesecake either. Now I think that’s so bizarre!! Glad we came to our senses. 🙂 Frosted animal crackers are a total guilty pleasure…I love how you combined two favorites!

  7. Hey, I’ve been slow to try things, too. But at least we’re trying them now 😉 I think you created a real winner with these bars. I love frosted animal crackers, so I know I’ll be obsessed with these!

  8. I am happy to admit I have ALWAYS been a cheesecake fan! It’s probably because I really didn’t get the chocolate gene (I can feel you giving me that “look” – most people do so it’s ok lol!) so anything luscious and vanilla-ish is how I roll. I am also a HUGE fan of multi-color sprinkles so this recipe is RIGHT up my alley!!! Thanks for brightening my weekend:)

  9. […] I told you that I’m finally at a point in my life where I like cheesecake. Scratch that… LOVE it. I think that’s probably pretty obvious now considering this is […]

  10. […] I told you that I’m finally at a point in my life where I like cheesecake. Scratch that… LOVE it. I think that’s probably pretty obvious now considering this is […]

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