Cherry Cheesecake Bars

There are cherries on here...does that mean it's healthy?

I’m baacckkkk…. at school that is. Which means two things: my stress levels are going to go through the roof, and the quality of my blog pictures are going to go WAYYYYY down.

When I went home my father made a baking request; these are rare and always granted. He told me that both himself and my mother LOVE Cherry Cheesecake.  Now, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I don’t like to make “traditional” desserts: I combine things, and I love to change their form. So when I saw this Betty Crocker recipe,  I KNEW that I had to try it.

I was never a humongous fan of cheesecake; I enjoyed cream cheese exclusively on my bagels (and in certain crock pot recipes). After trying out this recipe, however, I have to admit that my position has changed. This recipe was SPECTACULAR. It was simple (with my KitchenAid Mixer), decadent, and delicious. The rich, creamy cheesecake layer was paired perfectly with the sweet cherries. What makes this even better? The crust! Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, this recipe calls for sugar cookie mix instead! A sweet treat and a great alternative! I omitted the almonds that the recipe calls for since my mother doesn’t like them, but I am sure that they would have made this dessert even better.

Ingredients:

Cookie Base and Topping:

1 Pouch Sugar Cookie Mix (1 lb 1.5 oz)

1/4 cup cold butter or margerine

4 oz (half of 8 oz package) cream cheese

OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Filling:

2 1/2  packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp almond extract (I did not have this on hand, so I substituted vanilla extract)

2 eggs

1 can  (21 oz) cherry pie filling

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl, or bowl of a standing mixer. Cut in butter and 4 oz cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly (I personally just mixed this in with the mixer). Reserve 1 1/2 cups mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan. Bake 12 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat 20 oz cream cheese, the sugar, flour, almond extract (or vanilla) and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

3.Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked cookie base. Spoon pie filling evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved topping and almonds.

4.Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. frugalfeeding
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 20:58:51

    They look wonderful. Raspberries and cheese go together very well – they contrast so fantastically.

    Reply

  2. foodventuresandotherstories
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 03:06:38

    This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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