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Spring Flavor Inspiration

04/16/2012 22:04 ● Published by Anonymous

Do your spring recipes need a little inspiration? To liven up seasonal gatherings, look to simple dishes with flavorful variations that will surprise the palate for everyone’s favorite course – dessert.

“I like to choose an easy dessert with creative twists that can carry me through the season,” says Mary Beth Harrington, a McCormick Kitchens flavor and baking expert, “That way, when it’s time to celebrate – whether I’m playing host to a large party or bringing a dessert to a spring gathering – I never have to wonder what I’m making, and I never serve the same dish twice.”

Lemon Cheesecake Bars are Mary Beth’s sweet inspiration for the season. A classic spring flavor, lemon adds a unique twist to simple cheesecake bars, making them a refreshing hit for all ages. For a new take, substitute the lemon extract with other seasonal tastes, like fragrant orange or fruity raspberry extracts. And, for a special garnish, top the cheesecake with a fresh berry topping, which can be personalized with your favorite blend of berries and a touch of vanilla extract.

You can find more flavorful twists on go-to recipes on While you’re there, take a peek at the “My Look Book” feature. These digital scrapbooks are a hub for spring inspiration, featuring a collage of dazzling images and mouthwatering recipes.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Makes 24 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Refrigerate Time: 4 hours

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup milk 2 tablespoons flour 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract 3 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and ginger. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add milk, flour and extracts; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition, just until blended. Pour over crust.
  1. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.
  1. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Garnish as desired. Store leftover bars in refrigerator.
Flavor Variations: Prepare as directed. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Orange Extract or 2 teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract in place of the Lemon Extract.

Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 198, Fat: 14g, Carbohydrates: 15g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 159mg, Fiber: 0g, Protein: 3g

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