MOM’S DAY CHERRY CHEESECAKE BARS

I just made these for tomorrow’s Mom’s Day, it’s deliciousness from the first bite to the last — and not as wicked as a plain cheesecake.  These, in bars, are the way to enjoy cheesecakes.

MOM’S DAY CHERRY CHEESECAKE BARS
Who doesn’t like a good cheesecake  — ask any mom, and the answer is a unanimous, “I love cheesecakes”.  So treat your mom to this outstanding, just sweet and tart enough, cherry cheesecake bars.  And it is a breeze to make.  How bout a scoop of ice cream to go along with these bars — now that’s taking up a notch, but go for it!

Crust layer:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cheesecake Layer:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Cherry-filling Layer:
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil with enough foil to overhang sides by 2″; coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter and beat with electric mixer until crumbly.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  Reserve 2 cups for topping.   Lightly press remaining flour mixture into prepared pan.


In the same bowl and using electric mixer, beat cream cheese until creamy.  Stir in milk, egg and extracts; blending well until smooth.  Spread over crust layer.


Empty pie filling in a medium bowl (or large glass measuring cup) and mix in 2 tablespoons cornstarch.  Spoon over cream cheese layer.  Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture over top.


Bake for an hour until center is set.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate (preferably overnight) and cut into bars.  This is a winner!

These bars were created specially for my favorite “MOM”, Veronica Leighton.

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