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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

We were invited over to our friends house this past Saturday along with our kids and some other families.  I was to bring some sort of dessert to share.  Since the weather had been a bit warmer this past week-end I wanted to make something fruity instead of heavy and chocolaty (is that a word ?).  I found a recipe in my dessert file from an old Southern Living issue.  It was for Cherry Cheesecake Bars. This seemed to be the perfect recipe; a little crust for the taste of a pie, a little cream cheese filling for the decadence and a little cherry fruit filling to feel a little like spring!  The dessert was a hit!  This could be a great recipe for the upcoming Easter Holiday!

  •  2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz.) packaged cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 (21 oz.) cherry fruit filling
  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil.  Lightly grease foil.
  2. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl, stir until crumbly * I use my hands to make a crumbly crust.
  3. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture.  Press remaining mixture unto the bottom of prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  5. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute or until fluffy.
  6. Gradually add condensed milk and almond or vanilla extract, beating until smooth.
  7. Spread over crust, and top with cherry fruit filling.
  8. Sprinkle with reserved 1 cup crumb mixture.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50  minutes or until golden.
  10. Cool on a wire rack. Lift cheesecake out of pan using foil.  Cool completely.
  11. Place in fridge for a few hours.  Cut into bars and serve or continue to chill.
  12. Dust bars with powdered sugar.
*Makes about 15-20 bars depending on how big you make them.  I make them into 3x2 rectangles so they are on the smaller side.  This way your guests can have a little of another dessert as well.

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