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Tri-Topped Cheesecake Bars

No recipe image available.These fun, crazy-good cookie bars have a buttery shortbread crust with a cheesecake filling topped in three, side-by-side sections: First section with coconut and sliced almonds, second section with chopped chocolate-covered peanuts and caramel candy bars, and third section with chopped maraschino cherries.

Recipe Ingredients:

Crust:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
4 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 bars (2 ounces each) chocolate-covered peanut and caramel candy bars, chopped
1 cup maraschino cherries, well-drained, chopped

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Crust: Blend together butter and sugar at medium speed of electric mixer. Stir in flour until incorporated and dough is crumbly. Press dough onto bottom of 10x15-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  2. For Filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla at medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Blend in eggs at low speed; stir in chocolate. Spread over crust. Top 1/3 of cheesecake mixture with sliced almonds. Sprinkle coconut over almonds. Top another 1/3 of cheesecake mixture with candy bar pieces. Top remaining 1/3 cheesecake mixture with chopped cherries.
  3. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 minutes. Cool; cut into squares or bars.

Makes 42 bars.

Tip: Substitute 1/3 cup sour cream for the chocolate squares to make a plain cheesecake layer.

Adapted recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.