Cherry swirl cheesecake bars


For the shortbread crust:
2 c flour
2/3 c powdered sugar
1 c chilled butter, cubed
For the cheesecake:
3 c fresh pitted cherries
2 T sugar
2 T water
4 t lemon juice
1 t cornstarch
1-1/2 c fat free cream cheese
2/3 c fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, powdered sugar and butter. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until they come together to form a dough. Press the dough into a greased 9? x 13? baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the crust and let it cool.

Reduce the oven to 325F. In a large sauce pan, add the cherries, water and 2 T of sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the cherries are tender. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and whisk together. Add the lemon juice mixture into the cherry mixture and cook for another minute, or until thickened. Cool the mixture and then place it in a food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set it aside.

Next wipe the processor clean and add the remaining ingredients from the cream cheese through the eggs. Process until smooth and then spoon it over the prepared shortbread crust, spreading evenly. Next scoop little dollops of the cherry mixture onto the cheesecake and use a knife to swirl it into the cream cheese mixture. Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes, or until set. Remove and cool. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Freezing option: Slice the cheesecake into bars of any desired size. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the bars on the parchment. Cover with sealable plastic wrap and place in the freezer. To eat, let thaw at room temperature for a few minutes and enjoy.