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Cherry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

A delicious summer treat that’s creamy and sweet. (Rich too!)

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • ⅔ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Chilled Butter, Cubed
  • FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
  • 3 cups Fresh Pitted Cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • 1-½ cup Fat-free Cream Cheese
  • ⅔ cups Fat-free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ⅔ cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Eggs

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, powdered sugar and butter. Using your hands, blend the ingredients until they come together to form a dough. Press the dough into a greased 9” x 13” baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool in the pan.

Reduce the oven to 325F.

In a large sauce pan, add the cherries, water and 2 Tablespoons of sugar and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the cherries are tender.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and whisk together. Add the lemon juice mixture into the cherry mixture and cook for another minute, or until thickened. Cool the mixture and then place it in a food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and set it aside.

Next wipe the processor clean and add the remaining ingredients from the cream cheese through the eggs. Process this mixture until smooth and then spoon it over the prepared shortbread crust, spreading evenly. Next scoop little dollops of the cherry mixture onto the top of the cheesecake and use a knife to swirl it into the cream cheese mixture.

Bake the cheesecake at 325F for 35 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and cool. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Freezing option: Slice the cheesecake into bars of any desired size. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the bars on the parchment. Cover with sealable plastic wrap and place in the freezer. To eat, let thaw at room temperature for a few minutes and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine, July 2011.

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