Today's #SummerGrilling recipe has been sponsored by Farmer's Pantry, however, all opinions are my own. #ad
I know when most people think of summer grilling they think about putting meat on the grill and making cold side dishes to go with it. I'll admit that's what I think of whenever I'm hosting a grilling party at my own house. However, whenever I'm invited to a cookout at someone else's house I begin thinking about what dessert I can make that everyone will love but that won't heat up our house. Usually this results in a no bake dessert.
I've made a variety of no bake bars, cakes, and cookies throughout the years. They are generally easy to make and people love them in the summer. They are often lighter than other desserts and they are kept cold. So when I started thinking about a summer grilling dessert I started thinking about no bake desserts.
For some reason I kept thinking about margaritas. They just kept popping into my head so I decided to roll with it. I decided to make Icebox Margarita Cheesecake Bars. I mean, can't you see yourself sitting outside, enjoying a hamburger or hot along with macaroni salad and potato salad with a margarita in your hand and an Icebox Margarita Cheesecake Bar on your plate? I certainly can!
The crust of these bars is a little bit different hen you might expect. I often see graham crackers used in the base of these desserts but I find that it sometimes adds too much sweetness and not much texture. I wanted to be a little bit different so I used Farmer's Pantry Honey Butter Cornbread Crisps. I thought that the sweetness of the honey butter paired with the coarse texture of the cornbread would make the perfect base for icebox bars and as it turns out I was right.
The crust is pushed into the bottom of a baking dish that is lined with foil or parchment. Then the cheesecake mixture is poured on top of it. My secret to making the perfect no bake cheesecake is to add unflavored gelatin to help it set up. It doesn't add any additional flavor and it allows the cheesecake to set up with no problems.
In order to make the cheesecake I used cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk as a base. I added in lime and orange juice to give it that margarita flavor. You can add just a touch of tequila to make them authentic but you don't have too. Either way they are really yummy. I decorated them with a slice of lime and a tiny straw for fun.
These bars tasted amazing. I love the tangy lime flavor with the creamy cheesecake. The cornbread crust added a bit of saltiness and sweetness along with some much needed texture. I took a pan of these to work and they were cleaned out in no time! I know what I'll be taking to my next summer cookout for dessert.
- 4 oz. Farmer's Pantry Honey Butter Cornbread Crisps
- 4 T. butter, melted
- 3 T. brown sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ c. fresh lime juice
- 2 T. fresh orange juice
- 2 T. tequila (optional)
- 2 t. unflavored gelatin
- 3 T. boiling water
- Place the cornbread crisps in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Add in the butter, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon and pulse until it begins coming together.
- Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Press it down into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- To make the cheesecake place the cream cheese and condensed milk in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the lime juice, orange juice, and tequila if using. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
- In a small bowl combine the gelatin and boiling water. Mix well then allow to sit for 3 minutes.
- Pour the gelatin mixture into the cheesecake mixture and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Pour on top of the crust and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator and decorate with slices of lime, sanding sugar, or straws. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.