Cherry-Almond Cheesecake Bars
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 3 tbsp brown sugar or 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar substitute
- 2 tbsp almonds finely chopped
- 1/4 cup butter
- 450 g reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed or 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup dried cherries finely chopped
- 10 tbsp frozen whipped dessert topping fat free (optional)
- 2 tbsp almonds sliced (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F(180 degrees C). Grease an baking pan or line pan with foil, extending foil up over the edges of the pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add egg, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in cherries. Spread cream cheese mixture over partially baked crust.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until cream cheese layer is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours before serving.
- Cut into bars to serve. Garnish individual servings with dessert topping and/or almonds, if desired. Store in refrigerator. Makes 20 bars.