Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cheesecake Bars

1 1/4 c. Flour
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Almonds, Finely Chopped
1/2 c. Shortening
2 (8-oz) pkgs. Cream Cheese, Softened
2/3 c. Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
1 c. Berry Preserves or Jam

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and almonds. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping. To make crust, press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of 13" x 9" baking pan. Bake in a 350 oven for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden.
In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and almond extract until smooth. Spread over hot crust and return to oven for 15 minutes. Spread jam or preserves over cream cheese mixture, set aside. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top of cheese cake bars. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan on a wire rack, chill for 3 hours before cutting into bars, store in refrigerator. Makes 32 bars.

* We just use any jam we have in the fridge at the time. (Strawberry, Raspberry, Apricot, ect.) I put the jam in a plastic sandwich bag squeeze out all the air and tie a knot on the end. Then I cut off the tip of the bag with scissors. Lastly, I squeeze the jam onto the cheesecake mixture.

*I know these look like a lot of work, but they really aren't. These are WONDERFUL!!!!

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