RECIPE: Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Rich cheesecake gets swirled with sweet cherries in these delightful Cherry Cheesecake Bars!

Yield: 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHERRY SWIRL:

  • 2 cups cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 10.5 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CHERRY SWIRL:

  1. Combine the cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Then decrease heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Set aside to cool.

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x 13″x 2″ baking pan.
  2. Combine the cookie crumbs, butter, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined and smooth. Pour onto the partially baked crust, and spread evenly.
  2. Transfer the cooled cherry mixture to a blender or food processor. Process until there are no large pieces of cherries remaining. The mixture should be pourable.
  3. Spoon the cherry mixture over the top of the filling. You’ll want to cover it well with small spoonfuls of the mixture.
  4. Use a thin knife to swirl the cherry mixture into the filling.
  5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bars are set and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.

SOURCE: Bake or Break