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Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Bars

Cherry Vanilla Cheesecake Bars – a very festive and easy cheesecake cookie bar recipe. One of our most popular cookie bar recipes ever.
Course Cookies/Dessert
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 18 large cookie bars
Author Barry C. Parsons

Ingredients

FOR THE BASE & CRUMB TOPPING

  • cups flour
  • cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup cold butter

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • cup glace cherries , cut in quarters (well drained maraschino cherries will also work, I rinse them and drain them on paper towels before cutting them)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor pulse together the flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly (or simply cut the butter through the flour and sugar with a pastry knife or two butter knives held between your fingers)
  2. Save a ½ cup of this crumble mixture to sprinkle over the top later.
  3. Press the rest of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a greased or parchment lined 8x8 inch square baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes while preparing the cheesecake filling.
  5. Beat together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Beat in the egg.
  7. Fold in the chopped cherries.
  8. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly onto the pre-baked cookie base and sprinkle the reserved cookie crumble over the surface.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 - 30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set at the centre.
  10. Let cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.
  11. Refrigerate in airtight containers. Freezes well too.

Recipe Notes

I've since made this recipe with fresh cherries that have been quartered and they were delicious as well.