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Harmons Chef Lesli’s Recipe For Fourth Of July Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

SALT LAKE CITYIf you’re still trying to figure out what to take to that Fourth of July cookout, Harmons Chef Lesli Sommerdorf joined KSL’s Dan Spindle to make strawberry cheesecake bars.


  • Difficulty: 2
  • Total Time: :45
  • Serves: 10-12



  • 1 cup strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • 2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • 1/2 cup reserved crust
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, optional


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13” x 9” x 2” pan with butter. Set aside.

To make the strawberries, in medium saucepan over medium heat, add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Cook 2-3 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch, add to strawberries and stir until thickened. Mash strawberries with a spatula. Let cool.

To make the crust, in a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter until fine crumbs form. Add walnuts and coconut, if using. Mix well and press crumbs in bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 12-15 minutes.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla at medium speed until smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture over hot baked crust. Place dollops of strawberries mixture onto cream cheese mixture. Using a knife, swirl strawberry mixture into cream cheese mixture. Return to oven. Bake 25-30 minutes longer. Let cool. Refrigerate for several hours and cut into bars.


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