Almond Streusel Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Cookie Base and Topping:
1 lb 1.5 oz sugar cookie mix OR recipe below. Use 1 pound.
1/4 cup cold butter
4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 1/2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese (20 oz), softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
• Heat 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.
• Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat 20 oz 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 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.
• Crisp Sugar Cookies
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 5 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup milk
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Cover and refrigerate 15-30 minutes or until easy to handle.
- Preheat oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out cookies into desired shapes. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
- Bake 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 8 dozen.