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Banana Pudding Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients

 

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package banana cream instant pudding powder
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • banana cream pudding- optional
  • mini nilla wafers- optional
  • fresh banana coins- optional
  • fresh mint leaves, for garnish- optional

    Instructions

    1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking pan by fitting it with parchment paper with enough paper hanging over the sides to ensure easy lifting; and then spray it with baking spray for extra measure. Then set it aside.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter together. Use your hands (with disposable gloves, if desired) to bring everything together until it begins to feel like wet sand. Empty the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan and use your hands/bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the mixture tightly onto the bottom of the pan.
    3. Bake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes. Then set it aside while you make the filling.

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