1 1/4 c (180g) Bing Cherries, pitted and quartered
2 T Granulated Sugar
1 T Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
For the Cream Cheese Layer
4 oz. Cream Cheese (ROOM Temp!)
2 T Granulated Sugar
(optional)1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
For the Blondies:
8 Tbsp (4 0z, 114g) Unsalted Butter
1 c (198g) Light Brown Sugar
1 Lg Egg
(optional)1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 c (120g) AP Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 c Almond Slices
1 t Kosher Salt
Preheat oven to 350F (Conventional) or 335F (Convection/Fan).
Once preheated, toast the sliced almonds by spreading them across a sheet pan, and baking for 6-7 minutes until fragrant and golden. Remove to cool.
Prepare an 8×8 (20cmx20cm) baking pan by lining it with parchment. Lightly spray (this may be overkill, but I hate when my baked goods stick!)
Make the Cherry Sauce:
Into a small saucepan, place all of the ingredients. Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, heat the sauce until it boils.
Allow to bubble several minutes until noticeably thickened. Set aside to cool while you make the cream cheese mixture and blondie dough.
Make the cream cheese mixture:
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth, allowing for tiny bit of lemon zest, if using. Set aside.
Make the Blondie Dough:
Into a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat, slice the butter. Allow to melt. Stirring often, cook until the butter bubbles, spatters and foams, then ultimately turns a lovely golden color. See photo. Watch and smell carefully so it doesn’t burn. The bits in the bottom of the pan should still be brown, and not black. The butter should smell slightly nutty. Pour the browned butter into a medium bowl where you will make the blondie batter.
To the browned butter, add the brown sugar and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Then stir in the flour and baking powder until you don’t see streaks of flour.
Fold in the chopped almonds.
Divide the dough into a portion that is 2/3 of the total and another that is 1/3 of the total.
Layer the Blondie and Bake:
Into the prepared baking pan, press the larger portion of the dough.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top, all the way to the edges.
Dollop heaping teaspoons of the cherry sauce. Swirl through the cream cheese if you like. (I did not, I like the “puddles”)
Place pieces of the smaller (1/3) portion of the dough scattered across the cream cheese and cherry sauce.
Bake 24-30 minutes until the edges are golden and firm-looking and the middle appears just set. In my oven this took 27 minutes, but watch carefully so you don’t overbake.
Cool completely in the pan before removing to cut.
Serving Size:1 bar
Keywords: Blondies, Bar Cookies, Cherries, Bing Cherries, Cheesecake, Cream cheese