Almond Streusel Cherry Cheesecake Bars

2008 prize winning recipe! Sugar cookie mix makes the base of a creamy cheesecake bar with a baked-in cherry filling.

Yield

24 bars

Cookie Base and Topping Ingredients

1 (1 pound 1.5 ounce) pouch Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
4 ounce (half of 8 ounce package) cream cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Filling Ingredients

2 1/2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (20 ounces), room temperature
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with Pan Release or baking spray with flour.

Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 ounces cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat 20 ounces cream cheese, the sugar, flour, almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

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

Bake for 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.

Estimated Time

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 57 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours

Storage

Store covered in refrigerator.

Additional Information

You'll need a total of three 8-ounce packages of cream cheese for this recipe.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving (1 bar): Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 140), Total Fat 15 g (Saturated Fat 8 g, Trans Fat 1 g), Cholesterol 55 mg; Sodium 160 mg; Total Carbohydrate 28 g (Dietary Fiber 0 g, Sugars 20 g), Protein 4 g; Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 3 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 2

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