Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Bars
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- FOR THE BASE & CRUMB TOPPING
- 1½ cups flour
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup cold butter FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
- 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- ⅔ cup glace cherries , cut in quarters (well drained maraschino cherries will also work, I rinse them and drain them on paper towels before cutting them)
- In a food processor pulse together the flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly (or simply cut the butter through the flour and sugar with a pastry knife or two butter knives held between your fingers)
- Save a ½ cup of this crumble mixture to sprinkle over the top later.
- Press the rest of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a greased or parchment lined 8x8 inch square baking pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes while preparing the cheesecake filling.
- Beat together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Beat in the egg.
- Fold in the chopped cherries.
- Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly onto the pre-baked cookie base and sprinkle the reserved cookie crumble over the surface.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 - 30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set at the centre.
- Let cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.
- Refrigerate in airtight containers. Freezes well too.