Thursday, December 8, 2011

Almond Streusel-Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Almond Streusel-Cherry Cheesecake Bars

The other day, I had some left over Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix in my pantry, so I wanted to use it up.  Of course, I had bake something much more exciting than plain old sugar cookies.  So I went online to the Betty Crocker Website and found these magnificent little bars.  When I saw them, it said they were the prize winning recipe in 2008, so I had to make them.  And guess what?  I was not let down in the slightest.  These have so much flavor! The sugar cookie base, almond extract, and cherry filling transform your average cheesecake into a heavenly baked cherry-streusel bar.  They truly are delicious.  My mom got really mad at me for making them because she was scared she'd gain weight. The base is a delicious sugar cookie, and then there is a layer of creamy cheesecake, topped off with a sweet cherry filling and a touch of almond.  [Absolutely perfect.]
*you can find the recipe here.


Cookie Base and Topping
pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
cup cold butter or margarine
oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese
cup sliced almonds
2 1/2
packages (8 oz each) cream cheese (20 oz), softened
cup sugar
tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
teaspoon almond extract
can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 oz 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 12 minutes.
  • 2Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat 20 oz cream cheese, the sugar, flour, almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • 3Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked cookie base. Spoon pie filling evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with reserved topping and almonds.
  • 4Bake 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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