Lisa’s Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Like me, my friend Lisa has an African American Mother from the South, in this case Louisiana. Unlike me, Lisa’s Mom was a Home Economics teacher. If you still have not decided on your Christmas desserts I suggest rotating Lisa’s Cherry Cheesecake Bars into your lineup.
There are a few reasons Lisa’s Cherry Cheesecake Bars are the ideal dessert for Christmas this year. Let’s start with Lisa’s rationale for deciding to make this dish – you are getting a healthy portion of fruit with your sweet treat. I laughed out loud at her explanation, but she has a point. Cherries, particularly tart cherries, have benefits like helping strengthen the immune system and improving gut health. Besides their fantastic taste, I like these bars because you can control the portion without feeling deprived by cutting them into smaller serving sizes.
Lastly, these cheesecake bars are gluten-free unlike my Cheesecake Elegante that I made last Christmas, which is equally as amazing. As you may recall, I like to use organic ingredients in all my cooking most of the time. But when it comes to the type of dairy products I cook with, I get even more discriminating in that the cows that the dairy is sourced from need to be grass-fed. Always listen to your gut.
Lisa’s Cherry Cheesecake Bars
- 9 x 11 inch Baking Dish
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Electric Hand Mixer
- Large Spatula or Wooden Spoon
- Medium Saucepan
- Organic Cooking Spray
- 1 – 15.5 ounce box XO Baking Oatmeal Cookie Mix – Flavorful Gluten Free
- ¾ stick Organic Butter
- 2 – 8 ounce packages Organic Cream Cheese
- 1 Organic Egg
- 2 tbsp Organic Gluten Free Flour
- 1 tsp Organic Vanilla Extract
- 24 ounces Organic Cherries, frozen
- 2 tbsp Organic Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Organic Sugar
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ cup Organic Cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 9×11-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Pour cookie mix into a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- Bake crust in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove partially baked crust and leave oven on.
- Beat cream cheese, ½ cup of the sugar, egg, flour, and vanilla extract together in a bowl using electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER BEAT.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the partially baked crust.
- Simmer cherries, lemon juice and water on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Whisk the remaining ½ cup of sugar and cornstarch together and add to the cherry mixture. Simmer a few more minutes until sauce has thickened.
- Spread cherries on top of the cream cheese and then sprinkle with the remaining cookie crumble. Bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before refrigerating. Chill for approximatley 2 hours and then cut into 16 to 20 bars. Serve.