This recipe comes from the inside of a Philadelphia cream cheese package from more than ten years ago. I even used the ten-year old cream cheese IN the recipe. Kidding.
I know it used to be available on the Philadelphia (Kraft Foods) website, but I couldn’t find it, so you’ll just have to trust me!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (available in a box in the baking aisle, or you can crush actual crackers yourself)
7 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
3 packages of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 large, ripe banana)
8-10 strawberries, cut in half
1 banana sliced
1 can (8oz.) pineapple chunks, drained
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of sugar in a bowl. Use a fork (or the forks God gave you, your hands) to combine the ingredients until the crumbs are moistened and can be pressed into a crust. Press onto the bottom of a rectangular pan (13 x 9-ish).
To soften the cream cheese, microwave for 15-second increments until it’s soft but not melted. With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla until blended. Add eggs and mix until combined.
Stir in mashed banana and pour batter over crust. A note about the banana: even people who don’t like banana, like this cheesecake. The flavor is so mild most people don’t even realize it’s banana.
This is the mashed banana. I mashed it with a fork in a Pyrex cup.
Bake for 30 minutes – the edges should look done but the center can be a LITTLE wiggly. It’s important not to undercook cheesecake so if you’re unsure, give it another 3-5 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. Cut into bars and top each piece with a strawberry half, banana slice and pineapple chunk. Graciously accept compliments from all who taste it.