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It is starting to take on a life of its own, this bowl of cooked rhubarb that sits in my fridge and urges me to dip in a spoon for a furtive, stolen slurp of its tangy and sweet nectar. This simple sauce willed me, with its provocative consistency and muted pink hue, to incorporate it into another sweet treat. The pleasing taste and silky texture ensures that these bars will make you a rock star in your own home.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lining the pan with aluminum foil, leaving 3-4 inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan.
Place graham crackers and gingersnaps into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the crackers form fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. To the crumbs, add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are fully combined. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the beaters and sides of the bowl frequently. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan, over top of the cooled crust. Spread evenly.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Add the chopped rhubarb and the piece of peeled ginger to the water and sugar syrup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is very soft and falling apart, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard the piece of ginger. Cool for about 10 minutes.
Using a teaspoon, spoon 1/2 cup dollops of the rhubarb mixture gently onto random places over the surface of the cheesecake. Using a small knife, gently swirl the rhubarb mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow the bars to cool for 2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours.
Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Gently remove the foil and cut into 16 bars.
Top the bars with the remaining rhubarb sauce immediately before serving.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!