Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cherry Cheesecake Crumb Bars

The holidays are totally meant for splurging. Splurging on plane tickets to visit friends and family. Splurging on gifts for your special someone. Splurging on Grandma's famous fill-in-the-blank and so on. In my family, we really go for it. We cook up a storm, drink tons of good wine, and indulge in sweets of all kind. We don't discriminate. Chocolatey. Minty. Creamy. Rich. You name it; we ate it. And it was glorious. So now, I'm trying to get back into the swing of my normal relatively healthy self. So in honor of the New Year, my favorite fruit recipe. 
You didn't think I was going to give you a healthy recipe, did you? You know better than that. I like this because you could swap out the cherry for almost any fruit: peach for the summer, apples for the fall, and so on. Essentially, if you have had it in a pie, you can swap it for the cherries in this recipe. I found it on Brown Eyed Baker - she is just a whiz! Anyway, make it, and then go eat some celery. Or run a mile. Or lay on the couch, whatever. I don't really care what you do. I'm not a trainer anymore. Happy New Year!!

Cherry Cheesecake Crumb Bars
For the Crumble:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg

For the Filling:
24 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 (21-ounce) cans cherry pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. 
2. Make the crumble (always tough for me). Make sure your butter is COLD! In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork or pastry cutter if you are fancy to cut in the butter, and then the egg. This dough won't totally come together, it will be crumbly. Press half of dough firmly into the prepared pan and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until light golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.
3. Make the cheesecake filling: In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Spread the cheesecake mixture into an even layer over the crust. Spoon the cherry pie filling in an even layer over the cheesecake mixture. Sprinkle the remaining crumble dough evenly over the cherry layer. 
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown. Cool completely and serve. You can store these bad boys in your fridge until you are ready to serve as well.