Merry Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Merry Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Crumb Mixture
1/3 cup Butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped green candied cherries
1/4 cup chopped red candied cherries

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all crumb mixture ingredients in small mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 minute). Reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine all filling ingredients except cherries in same bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in cherries by hand. Spread filling over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Continue baking for 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is set. Cut into bars while warm. Cover; store refrigerated.

Makes 25 bars.