My son and his girlfriend were coming to town so I looked through my files to make a special dessert for when they arrived. I had been wanting to try this recipe for a while so decided to make these Cherry Almond Cheesecake Bars. I am not usually attracted to fruity type desserts, but there was enough chocolate in them to entice me. I am so glad I made them. They were wonderful.
These colorful bars are bursting with the flavors of almonds, cherries, and white chocolate, as well as cream cheese. I served them with vanilla ice cream which complemented them nicely. Actually, I can’t think of anything that vanilla ice cream wouldn’t complement nicely so maybe that isn’t really a helpful hint. These bars would make a great Memorial Day dessert due to their pretty red color. They are simple to make and don’t require a lot of time to prepare. They are also very rich, so a few will go a long way.
What are you doing for Memorial Day? We are going to bar-b-q chicken and corn on the cob with a side of vanilla ice cream. Whatever you do, I hope you have a great weekend!
CHERRY ALMOND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BARS
1 c brown sugar, packed
- 1 c butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2 c flour
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c dried cherries
- 1/2 c sliced almonds
- 3/4 c white chocolate chips
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 c cherry preserves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 9 x 2 1/4-inch pan.
- Cream together brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract with a mixer on medium speed.
- Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined.
- Stir in cherries, almonds, and white chocolate chips.
- Press batter into prepared pan.
- Beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg with your mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mixture will be thin, but will thicken during baking.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over batter in pan.
- Heat cherry preserves in a microwave oven on high for about 20 seconds. Stir preserves to remove lumps.
- Drop preserves over cream cheese topping.
- Lightly draw the blade of a knife through the topping to swirl preserves into the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool.
- Refrigerate until needed, and then cut into bars.
Recipe from Ball Idea Book, Edition 2, 2004, page 16.