Friday, August 3, 2012

Peachy Cream Cheese Bars

National Cheesecake Day was July 30th.  I tend to miss things by a few days.  That’s not unusual.  I’m going to go ahead and pretend that it is National Cheesecake Week and that I didn’t miss a thing.  I think cheesecake deserves a whole week, don’t you?

Today I am going to show you a recipe that actually isn’t mine.  It’s my mom’s.  Plus, it isn’t actually cheesecake at all…..I think the true name is “cream cheese bars”.  Hearing about National Cheesecake Day, of course got me craving cheesecake.  But I didn’t want to make a cheesecake.  Too much work.  I remembered my mom’s cream cheese bars, and I thought….good enough!  They have all the elements…..a crust and a cream cheesy layer, but they are a lot easier to make.  I made the crust in the food processor and the filling takes less than a minute to whip up.  Plus, they are in bar form so that’s always easier.  And, I jazzed mine up with Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread.  Win/win.

If you are craving cheesecake, but don’t want to put in the time….and if you are feeding a crowd (this recipe is easily doubled), you will want to make this.

For the crust, I used Bisquick, butter, brown sugar and slivered almonds.  This is basically a shortbread crust.  Yummy, buttery, crumbly shortbread……..

I threw everything into the food processor.  And yes, my butter was room temperature.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a hand mixer.  Or a pastry cutter thingy if you are takin’ it old school.

It will come together into a crumbly dough.

I reserved ½ cup for the top…..

And the rest got pressed into an 8x8 baking pan that I had sprayed with cooking spray.  This has plenty of butter, and most likely won’t stick, but nothing pisses me off more than stuck crusts.

This baked at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

While the crust was baking, I made the filling.

The filling is Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread, cream cheese, an egg, sugar, milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Look at how fancy I am shopping at Whole Foods;)  Totally not the norm for me…..You know I’m a Wal-Mart girl.

I put the cream cheese, milk, egg, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice into a mixing bowl.

The peach spread comes later….and if you were wondering, yes…you can use any fruit spread or preserve that you like. 

I blended this until it was smooth and creamy.  The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature so this happens pretty quickly.

Time for the peach spread!  I poured about ¾ of the jar on to my baked crust.  I spread this out with a spatula.

Next, I poured on the cream cheese filling and spread that around too.

Finally, I topped the whole thing with the reserved crust crumbs. 

This baked at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the middle was set.

The whole thing goes in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours…..if you can wait that long;)

These little babies are like the perfect little taste of cheesecake.  I felt better about myself because I just ate one bar and not a big ‘ol slice of cheesecake.

Look at the crunchy top!

And look at the creamy filling and the yummy peach spread!  These are so delicious, and I really feel they are easier to make then a full on cheesecake.  Plus, cheesecake is so rich and decadent…this is like a creamy, light little bite.  And the peach spread makes this fresh and summery.

I think this recipe is a must try.  And yes, I totally claim it as mine now….sorry mama!!;)

Peachy Cream Cheese Bars

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup butter (1/2 a stick)-room temperature

1 cup Bisquick

½ cup slivered almonds

8 ounces cream cheese-room temperature

¾ cup Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray.

In a food processor, blend together brown sugar, Bisquick, butter and almonds until mixture comes together.  Reserve ½ cup of dough for later.  Press remaining dough into greased baking pan.

Bake crust at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Pour peach spread over baked crust and spread evenly.

In a large bowl, blend together cream cheese, egg, milk, vanilla and lemon juice with a hand mixer.  Blend until smooth.

Pour filling over peach spread.  Spread evenly.  Top with reserved dough.  Sprinkle evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until middle is set.

Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Serves 8

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