These festive cookie bars offer a nutty shortbread crust with a chocolate cheesecake filling laced with candied red cherries.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup candied red cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Combine flour, brown sugar and butter; blend together to form fine crumbs. Stir in nuts. Reserve 3/4 cup for the crumb topping. Press remainder into an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cream together cream cheese and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add cocoa, milk, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fold in candied cherries.
- Spread filling over warm crust and sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake an additional 25 minutes or center is set. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Makes 16 squares.