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Tart Cherry Cheesecake Crumb Bars

Recipe image Cherry Crumb Bars

A four-layer delight! Shortbread-like cookie bottom layer, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, a tart cherry layer, and then a crispy almond-crumb layer! 

This recipe makes a 13×9 pan. I cut mine into 24 bars, but you could cut them larger if you like! These stay fresh covered in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, but keep in the fridge if you still have them longer.

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 35-45 min
  • Total Time: 55-65 min plus cooling
  • Yield: 24 bars 1x
  • Category: Bar Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the Tart Cherry Layer:

  • 4 c (about 1 1/4 lb, or .6kg) Tart Cherries, pitted, or 20 oz. frozen
  • 3/4 c (148g) Granulated Sugar
  • 2 t (10ml) Lemon Juice
  • 4 T (32g) Cornstarch or Cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp (3ml) Almond Extract
  • Large pinch Kosher salt

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • 12 oz (339g) Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 c (50g)Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg

For the Base and Crumble Layer:

  • 1.5 c (180g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 c (180g) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 c (198g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp (4g) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 c (227g) Unsalted Butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Large Egg, whisked slightly chilled
  • 1/2 c (60g) Sliced Almonds

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F (or 335F for Convection/Fan Oven)

  1. Line a 13×9 Baking Pan with parchment and/or baking spray. Set aside.

Make the Cherry Filling:

  1. In a medium saucepan (3-4 qt), place the cherries. Add in the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, almond extract and pinch of salt.
  2. Heat over Medium temperature, stirring regularly, until mixture first boils, and then thickens. On my gas stove, this took just a few (less than 5) minutes. It would take a bit longer over an electric burner. Once thickened and glossy, remove from heat to a bowl to cool a bit while you make the other layers.

Make the Cream Cheese layer:

  1. In a Medium bowl, whisk the room temperature cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Set aside.

Make the base and crumb layer:

  1. Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt in a mixing bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter cubes into the dry ingredients until a crumbly dough is formed, much like the dough of a pie crust before adding the water. Butter pieces should be irregularly sized. 
  2. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. 

Layer the Bars:

  1. Press half of the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of lined/sprayed baking pan.
  2. Using an offset spatula or a knife, evenly spread the cream cheese mixture over the layer of crumb mixture, leaving about 1/2″ around the edges.
  3. Evenly spread the cooled cherry filling over the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Using your hands, mix the sliced almonds into the remaining half of the crumb mixture. Then scatter small pieces of the crumb mixture over the cherry layer, until all the crumb mixture is used. The cherry layer should be completely covered (or almost completely) with crumb mixture
  5. Bake in preheated oven 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown. Mine took 42 minutes.
  6. Cool completely before cutting into bars. 

 

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Nutrition

Keywords: Cherry Crumb Bars, Crumb Bars, Cherry Cheesecake Bars, Tart Cherries, bar cookies, cheesecake bar cookies, cherry cheesecake bar cookies

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