Baking Bites is a site for those who love cooking and baking, whether your preference is to whip up simple chocolate chip cookies, decorate fanciful cupcakes to slow-rising artisan breads. It is a resource for home bakers to learn about common baking techniques, how to use different ingredients and for hundreds of fantastically delicious recipes.
There are times during the summer when I have more ripe fruit available than I can eat. When your kitchen is overflowing with ripe fruit, you can bake as much of it as you can, freeze some and turn some into preserves. I have friends who make outstanding jams and jellies, filling up pantries with huge batches of delicious preserves. I tend to make preserves in smaller batches and then eat them up within a week or two. This Quick Blackberry Peach Jam is a easy recipe that takes full advantage of ripe, summer fruits to make a small batch of delicious jam – and that is exactly my kind of jam.
You’ll need about 3 large peaches and 1 1/2 cups of blackberries. I use more peach than blackberry because blackberries have such a dominant flavor that I wanted to ensure you could still taste the peaches. The peaches should be peeled and cut into large chunks, while the blackberries can go into the pot whole. The fruit is gently mashed while it is cooking to release the juices and break up the large pieces. The only other ingredients are sugar and a bit of lemon juice. You can adjust the amount of sugar to suit your tastes, but this jam is not overly sweet and the flavor of the fruit really comes through beautifully.
This recipe is a type of refrigerator jam, which simply means that it thickens up in the refrigerator after cooking. There are only about 20 minutes of cooking time before the jam is ready to go into jars – and not all of that is active time. Speaking of jars, one mason jar is all you need because this recipe makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of jam. You can divide it into smaller jars, if you prefer, but you don’t need to worry about filling jar after jar. After pouring the hot jam into the jar (be careful!!), simply refrigerate for a few hours until the jam has thickened, then go ahead and serve it.
This jam will last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. Since it is a relatively small batch, it should get you through a generous amount of peanut butter sandwiches or a couple of brunches with friends and family. It is delicious on biscuits, scones, toast and on top of yougurt.
Quick Blackberry Peach Jam
3 large peaches
1 1/2 cups (approx 8-10 oz) fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Peel peaches and remove pits, then cut fruit into large chunks.
Place fruit in a medium saucepan with 3-4 tbsp of water. Cook over medium heat, smashing the fruit with a potato masher to break it into smaller pieces, for about 10 minutes, or until fruit is very tender.
Add in sugar and lemon juice and cook, stirring regularly to prevent jam from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the jam has started to thicken and resemble a nice sauce. Jam should “coat the back of a spoon/spatula” nicely when ready.
Transfer to a mason jar and screw on a lid. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight, until jam has thickened before serving.
Cherries are a wonderful ingredient to bake with when they’re in season, even though I admit that I sometimes have fewer fresh cherries on hand than I would like for baking, since I tend to snack on them when they’re in my kitchen. Fresh cherries are an excellent option for pies, muffins and other baked goods. When it comes to cookies, however, dried cherries are the way to go because you can bring in lots of cherry flavor without excess moisture that will compromise the texture of the cookies.
These Lemon Cherry Sugar Cookies are inspired by cherry pie and are a great twist on a more traditional sugar cookie. The dough is infused with lemon zest and generously studded with dried tart cherries. Tart cherries are the type that are often called for in baking pies, too. There are enough cherries that you should get at least one in every bite, but not so many that you can’t appreciate the chewy-on-the-inside and crisp-on-the-outside buttery sugar cookie dough that they’re packed in.
You’ll typically see dried cherries available both sweetened and unsweetened. Both can be used here. Unsweetened cherries are a bit more tart, so you’ll end up with a cookie that is slightly less sweet overall if you opt for those. I personally prefer to use sweetened cherries in this case because the cookie dough isn’t overly sweet and I find the sweeter cherries contrast very well with the fresh lemon zest.
Now, if you’re not in a hurry to bake your cookies and can take the time to refrigerate them for 24 hours before baking, I suggest that you do so. That refrigeration period actually makes for a chewier cookie in the end. The cookies will still taste great and have a chewy center when baked right away, the difference is that chewiness will actually last longer (nice if you’re not planning to eat the whole batch in a day or two) and the cookies will almost seem creamier when the dough has been chilled.
Lemon Cherry Sugar Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
4-5 tsp tbsp lemon zest (1-2 lemons)
1 cup dried tart cherries (pref. sweetened)
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.*
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light. Beat in egg and lemon zest. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture, stirring only until just combined. Stir in the cherries.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are set and have a hint of golden brown. Cool for 3-4 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 – 3 1/2 dozen.
*Dough can be refrigerated for 24 hours prior to baking for slightly chewier cookies, if desired.
You can find some delicious items in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. Their orange chicken is their best seller year after year, but I tend to be drawn to the pastry section of the aisle. A few weeks ago, I enjoyed some brioche pastries, but decided to switch to something savory and put Trader Joe’s Ham & Cheese Flay Croissant Dough Squares to the test.
These pastries start out with squares of croissant dough that are topped with chopped, uncured ham and shredded swiss cheese. Each one is individually packaged – there are four in each box – so you can prepare them as needed and don’t need to wait for a crowd if you want to treat yourself. They can be baked from frozen, so all you need to do is preheat your oven and pop one inside on a baking sheet.
I love the casual look of these mini tarts, which could be served for breakfast, a snack or paired with a salad for lunch. While there was a little bit of variation from pastry to pastry, they tended to be generously topped with both cheese and ham. The recommended baking temperature was 350F and I found that they worked a little better at a slightly higher temperature (375F) and required a few minutes more than the packaging suggested, though that could be because I prefer a more golden pastry.
They smelled great when they were baking and were delicious when they were ready. The pastry was light and buttery. The ham had a great flavor and there was just the right amount of cheese to ensure you got some swiss in every bite, without being so generously applied that it felt like you were eating a small pizza. I would definitely get these again and would also consider adding other items to the topping, such as a few cooked onions, a cracked egg (for breakfast) or some small summer tomatoes, just to mix things up.
Daquiris are one of my go-to summer cocktails. I’m not talking about blended strawberry daiquiris (although those are good, too), either. I’m talking about the classic daiquiri cocktail that is made with lime, sugar and rum. This Daiquiri Tart is inspired by that classic cocktail, with a rum-spiked lime filling on top of a buttery shortbread crust.
The tart has two components: a crust and a filling. The crust is very easy to make, as it is a press-in crust. This means that you mix it up and dump the mixture into your tart pan, then press it into place with your fingertips. While traditional pastry crusts would still be delicious with this filling, this style of crust means that you don’t need to do very much advance planning before you bake it. You can mix up the crust while the oven preheats and you’re ready to go.
The filling is also prepared while the crust is baking, then poured into the still-hot crust. The hot crust technique is a favorite of mine (as regular readers will know) and works beautifully with dense shortbread crusts. There are only four ingredients in the filling: lime, rum, sugar and eggs. It’s almost like a boozy lime curd and it has a fantastic sweet-tart flavor that fans of key lime pie will love. Be sure to use fresh lime juice for the filling to get the best flavor possible. Depending on how juicy your limes are, you may need anywhere from 2-4 limes for the filling.
You can use any white rum in this tart and get good results, but getting creative with the rum can yield an even more delicious tart. Darker rums will slightly change the color of the filling, so keep that in mind, too, if you opt for an aged rum and expect the tart to be the same color as mine. Plantation Pineapple Rum is a nice option if you choose to go with a darker colored rum – and it makes a great daiquiri on its own, too. I used Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum in my tart. This white Jamaican rum is smooth and has a naturally sweet, funky tropical flavor to it that really comes through in the finished dessert. It’s a complex rum and adds an extra layer of flavor to the mix.
The tart should be refrigerated before serving to give the filling a chance to firm up and ensure you get neat, even slices. Leftovers should also be refrigerated. I would say that this tart is best within a day or two of baking, so go ahead and slice it up as soon as it is ready to eat!
Daiquiri Tart Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2/3 cups sugar
6 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed and strained
2 1/2 tbsp white rum
Preheat oven to 350F. Tkae out an 8-inch tart pan and place on a baking sheet.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Blend in butter with a mixer at low speed until resembles wet,sandy crumbs. Pour into pan and press mixture down (with your fingers or the back of a spoon) into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, until just lightly browned around the edges.
While crust is baking, make filling. Whisk together all filling ingredients in a large bowl.
When the crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until filling is just set. When bars are completely cooled, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.
Peach cobbler is a classic summertime dessert. It’s easy to make and a great way to showcase fresh, ripe peaches – even though I will freely admit to making cobblers with frozen peaches during the winter. Cobblers tend to be rustic and honey desserts, something that you make to share with family. Cobblers usually need to be spooned into a bowl for serving, but these Peach Cobbler Oatmeal Bars are a way to make fruit cobbler a little easier to share.
This recipe uses the same mixture for both the base of the bars and the streusel topping. The peaches are sandwiched between the two layers, along with a buttermilk cream that really gives the bars a great texture and plays up the sweetness of the peaches nicely. That creamy addition is a nod to the fact that peach cobblers are typically served with ice cream, and since these are designed to be a bit more portable, they’re a bit more difficult to top with ice cream when serving!
The oatmeal mixture is packed into the bottom of a rectangular baking dish for the bottom “crust,” which is partially baked before the peaches and cream filling are added. The filling is added while the crust is hot, as soon as it comes out of the oven. While the peaches could be tossed into the filling, I recommend simply laying them on the base crust, as it can be hard to spread them evenly when attempting to pour them on – and you don’t want to risk tearing the crust when pushing the peaches around with a spatula! Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the peaches and cream, then bake until the fruit is tender.
These smell amazing when baking and are absolutely delicious when they come out of the oven. They can be served at room temperature, but I typically chill them before serving (since I usually am taking them to a picnic or party). The bars taste a bit like oatmeal cookies, with huge chunks of sweet, tender peaches and just enough tanginess from the buttermilk to set them off. They’re a bit sticky when chilled, but can still be eaten out-of-hand and do not require a fork or a bowl to serve them. Give these a try for any summer occasion – and you’ll be the hit of the party.
Peach Cobbler Oatmeal Bars
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
16 oz firm, ripe peaches (approx 3 medium-large peaches, peeled)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish, lining the base with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, prepare the topping. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt spices, sugar and oatmeal. Pour in butter and stir to combine.
Set aside 1 cup of the mixture for the topping and transfer the remaining oatmeal mixture to the prepared pan. Press it firmly into an even layer on the base of the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, until just starting to set.
While the base is baking, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Pour in buttermilk, vanilla extract and egg and whisk until very smooth. Cut peaches into 8-10 slices each.
Once the crust is just set, remove from oven and quickly arrange peach slices in an even layer over the base (it’s ok if base is not completely covered). Pour on buttermilk mixture, making sure to pour it on evenly. Sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the peaches.
Sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the apples, crumbling it in between your fingers to make it streusel-like.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until bars are set and golden brown.
Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled.
Peaches and bourbon are two classic Southern ingredients that pair exceptionally well together. You’ll see them in everything from barbecue sauces to cocktails to desserts. The rich sweetness of fresh, ripe peaches is a good match for the oaky, vanilla flavor that is prominent in many bourbons, so any dish that has both flavors is bound to be complex, with a great depth of flavor. This Caramelized Bourbon Peach Ice Cream is no exception. It’s a delicious way to enjoy both of these ingredients and to make good use of ripe peaches when they are in season.
This ice cream starts with fresh peaches, which are cooked in brown sugar until they are tender and caramelized. During cooking, the peaches give off quite a bit of juice, which blends with the sugar and becomes concentrated. To this mixture, I added a generous measure of bourbon and a splash of vanilla extract. I let the mixture cool, then pureed it and combined it with milk and heavy cream to make the ice cream base. I also added another measure of bourbon at this point, to ensure that its flavor wasn’t lost behind the sweet peaches.
The finished ice cream was incredibly flavorful and creamy. Alcohol (in general, not just bourbon) helps to lower the freezing point of ice cream, meaning that this ice cream has a very scoopable-texture even after it has been frozen. It has a great flavor of peaches, balanced with just the right amount of brown sugar and bourbon.
My ice cream is fairly smooth and only has a few very small bits of peach in it. This gives the ice cream a very uniform texture, which I happen to like. If you prefer a chunkier ice cream with more pieces of fruit in it, reserve a small amount of your caramelized peaches and chop them up by hand, then stir them into the ice cream after it churns. Ice cream makers generally don’t do well with large chunks of fruit in them, so adding some of the peaches back at the end is the best way to get those chunks into your finished ice cream. Serve this as-is, or put a big scoop on top of a peach pie or peach cobbler for a perfectly peachy dessert.
Caramelized Bourbon Peach Ice Cream
10-12 ounces sliced peaches (3 medium peaches) peeled
2/3 cup brown sugar
3-oz bourbon, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
In a large skillet, combine peach slices and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until the peaches start to give off their juices and the brown sugar begins to bubble. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook until peaches are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully pour in 2 ounces of bourbon and the vanilla extract. Cook, stirring with a spatula, for one additional minute. Remove from the heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
In a food processor or blender, puree the peach mixture. Combine puree with remaining 1 ounce of bourbon, milk and heavy cream.
Chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 2-3 hours (mixture may separate slightly in the fridge, just give it a stir to recombine).
When ice cream base is cold, pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers’ directions.
Transfer ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 3-4 hours.
One of my pet peeves when ordering a blueberry muffin from a bakery is discovering that there aren’t all that many blueberries inside of it. I like it when blueberry muffins are bursting with sweet, fruity berries – and I want to have at least one in every bite. These Blueberry Almond Muffins are bursting with blueberries, all packed inside a delicious almond muffin that is just dense enough to hold them up without letting them sink to the bottom.
The key to successful blueberry muffins is having a good batter. This one incorporates ground almonds to give the batter a little extra substance, allowing it to support the berries. While it might be a bit denser than other batters, the muffins still feel very tender and light because there are so many berries packed in there, held together with just the right amount of batter.
The batter is flavored with almond and vanilla extracts to highlight the jammy berries, and you can add in a handful of chopped almonds if you prefer to bring a little crunch into the mix. Personally, I like them both ways, even though the batch pictured here does not include almonds. Another nice finishing touch is to add a few sliced almonds to the top of the muffins, along with a sprinkle of coarse sugar, just before baking.
You’re going to need a lot of blueberries for this recipe and I recommend using fresh berries. While frozen berries can be used, they tend to release more liquid into the batter (even when they’re used from frozen), so I find that the muffins can be a touch too moist when made with frozen berries. That being said, you can help things out by cutting back slightly on the berries when you’re using frozen (going down to 1 1/2 cups from 2 cups) and by tossing the berries in flour before stirring them in. When fresh berries are in season, make the most of them and put these muffins into your regular rotation!
Blueberry Almond Muffins
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups blueberries (pref. fresh)
1/3 cup chopped or slivered almonds (optional)
coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extract. Pour into bowl containing dry ingredients and mix just until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in blueberries (and almonds, if using).
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each quite full. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool before serving.
The 4th of July is a holiday that calls for the bold red, white and blue colors of the American Flag. It’s easy to find decorations in these colors if you’re having a backyard barbecue or pool party and want to create a festive atmosphere, but it is difficult to find food in these colors in foods. Fortunately, while a little bit of food coloring can help give a dessert a patriotic look easily, you can find these colors in fruits that celebrate the summer. A selection of fresh fruit desserts made with red strawberries, raspberries and cherries alongside desserts made with blueberries can capture the red, white and blue look of the holiday with no food coloring needed. The added bonus is that you will also be enjoying some of the best berries of the year when they are at the peak of their seasons!
A Mixed Berry and Mascarpone Tart is an easy to make tart the features a no-bake filling and is studded with rows of fresh fruit. You can use any fruit of your choice, but berries of all colors make the tart look absolutely stunning.
Fruit cobblers are always a welcome dessert in the summer. A Peach and Strawberry Cobbler uses a combination of fruits that you don’t usually find in a cobbler and, while it is not red and blue, it has a beautiful color to it that captures a summer sunset.
Blueberry Pudding Cake is similar to a fruit cobbler, but with a thicker layer of berries at the bottom that takes on a sauce-like consistency as the cake bakes. For blueberry fans, this is dangerously addictive.
For strawberry fans, a Fresh Strawberry Pie is a good choice. The pie bursting with color and packed with fresh strawberries, which are topped with a thin strawberry glaze that gives the pie a glossy finish and adds an extra hint of sweetness to already sweet berries.
Red, White and Blue Push Pop Cakes are like individual berry trifles, with layers of cake, whipped cream, red strawberries and fresh blueberries. Served in special push pop containers, these treats look just as festive as they taste.
Red White and Blueberry Yogurt Cake is another dessert that really captures the colors of the holiday. The tender white cake is packed with blueberries and raspberries, which really pop against the white crumb of the cake. It has just a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top and is garnished with fresh berries.
I love pies made with fresh fruit in the summer, but hand pies are even better in my book. These Strawberry Hand Pies are easy to make and perfectly shareable. That means that no plates or silverware are needed to serve these, making them an exceptional choice for barbecues and picnics all summer long.
Ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets are always good choices for dessert during hot summer weather. I particularly enjoy incorporating fresh summer fruits into my frozen treats, just as I enjoy using them in baked goods. I have a wide range of strawberry ice creams on the site, but this Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet is a simple, summery dessert that is made with lots of fresh strawberries and creamy, tangy buttermilk. It is the kind of easy recipe that becomes an instant favorite once you’ve made it.
The sorbet is made with fresh strawberries, sugar and buttermilk. These ingredients are blended together until smooth, then the mixture is poured into an ice cream maker to churn into sorbet. There is no cooking involved and the prep really does take just a few minutes. Since the buttermilk is cold and your strawberries are (likely) either cold or at room temperature, the base for the sorbet can go into the ice cream maker right away, without additional chilling time. That said, if you want to prepare it in advance, it can be stored in the refrigerator and churned the next day.
I admit that I was tempted to call this Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream, but the truth is that there is no cream in this recipe and the fat content simply isn’t high enough to lay claim to the name of ice cream. That being said, it is very creamy and it is absolutely loaded with flavor, even while it is on the healthier side of the spectrum.
The sorbet can be made in an ice cream maker, and I always recommend using one if you have one available for the best and easiest results. It can also be made without one, if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Instead, you can pour the sorbet base into a shallow baking dish (8×8 or 9×9 pan, preferably pyrex) and place it in the freezer. After 1-2 hours, give the partially frozen sorbet a good stir with a fork to break up the larger ice crystals. Repeat the stirring process once more, after another 30-45 minutes, then allow the sorbet to freeze completely overnight. The resulting sorbet will still be delicious, but it will be a bit less creamy than one made in an ice cream maker.
Strawberry Buttermilk Sorbet
16-oz fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
Trim and hull strawberries, discarding the leafy green tops. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been dissolved, 60-90 seconds. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Raspberries and cheesecake are a classic combination that you’ll find frequently on menus, even though raspberries come in the form of a coulis more often than they show up as whole berries. But when raspberries are in season, I prefer to use them as much as I can and these Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are one delicious way to do just that.
Raspberries are known for their sweet-tart flavor, which contrasts well with the rich tanginess of the cream cheese in a cheesecake. This recipe is no exception. Dense, creamy cheesecake is studded with whole fresh raspberries that are folded into the batter just before baking. The berries hold their shape well in the oven, giving the bars a kind of polka dot appearance, lending their sweet-tart flavor to every single bite. The bars look great and they taste even better.
I will admit that I bake cheesecake bars much more frequently than I bake whole cheesecakes and that is because the bars are so much easier to make. For this recipe, the shortbread crust takes only a few minutes to mix together and it is pressed into a rectangular baking dish. While the crust bakes, you can prepare the cheesecake layer, which is poured onto the shortbread base while it is still hot from par-baking.
This method produces bars that are light and creamy, with a wonderfully buttery base – and you’ll be done with all your mixing, baking and cleanup in under an hour. I do recommend allowing these bars to chill in the refrigerator before serving, as the cheesecake will continue to set up a bit in the refrigerator and tastes best when it is cold.
These bars will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge, but they are at their best a day or two after baking. Since they contain fresh fruit, the berries may start to release a little liquid after that, compromising the texture of the leftovers (even though they’ll still be tasty). Frozen raspberries can be substituted in this recipe, but fresh raspberries are my preference because they have less extra moisture to worry about. Still, frozen berries will work in a pinch and, if you’re using them, they should be used from frozen.
Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
16-oz cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Prepare the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add in butter and mix until mixture resembles wet sand and no large pieces of butter remain. Press crust mixture firmly into prepared pan.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until crust is set and begins to brown around the edges
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, eggs, salt, milk and vanilla until very smooth. Fold in raspberries (you can set aside a few to add to the top, for extra color) Set aside until crust is done baking. While the crust is still hot from the oven, pour cheesecake filling over it, using a spatula to ensure the mixture spreads into the corners of the pan and that the berries are evenly distributed.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheesecake is set. Allow bars to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until well-chilled before slicing and serving.