Monday, February 24, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Luscious cheesecake is layered with raspberry jam and an irresistible crunchy almond coconut topping. All this sits a top a delectable buttery shortbread crust. Um...Yum!
Slightly adapted from Midwest Living

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped sliced almonds
1/2 cup salted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups seedless raspberry preserves or other preserves or jam
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and the finely chopped almonds. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup crumb mixture.
For crust, press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs, almond extract and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread over hot crust. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the reserved crumb mixture, coconut, and the sliced almonds. Spread preserves over hot cream cheese layer. Sprinkle coconut mixture over preserves.

Bake for 15 minutes more. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 32 bars.

* I used unsweetened coconut flakes. I like the texture and flavor of the large flakes.

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