With their combo of shortbread-like crust, creamy cheesecake, and fresh summer cherry goodness, these bars will make you the hit of the picnic.
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 1/2 teaspoons ice water
1 1/4 cups chopped pitted fresh cherries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine. Add chilled butter, and drizzle with ice water. Pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish (mixture will be crumbly). Press mixture into bottom of dish. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
Place cherries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until cherries are tender. Combine lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir cornstarch mixture into cherry mixture; cook for 1 minute or until thickened. Cool mixture slightly. Spoon the cherry mixture into food processor, and process until smooth. Spoon pureed mixture into a bowl, and set aside.
Wipe food processor clean. Place cream cheese and remaining ingredients in food processor; process until smooth. Spoon cream cheese mixture over cooled crust; spread evenly. Dollop cherry mixture over cream cheese mixture, and swirl together with a knife. Bake at 325° for 36 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
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I took these to a cookout and everyone enjoyed them. I added some vanilla bean to the crust, which added a nice flavor.A suggestion about using the food processor: instead of washing the work bowl each time as directed, change the order of the steps but be sure to scrape the bowl well. While the crust is baking, process the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate, and then work on the cherry mixture.
I absolutely loved this recipe - and so did all of my co-workers! Yes, it was a bit labor intensive, however I found that the fresh cherries really added to the taste. I also really enjoyed the short-bread crust! Cannot believe this is a Cooking Light recipe. Will absolutely make again!
I made these for a 4th of July cookout and they were a hit... gone in an instant! The recipe is somewhat labor intense (I hated cleaning my food processor 3 times) but definitely worth it for a special occasion. Was very good with the fresh cherries but really you could use any type of stone fruit or berries.
These were soooo good!! Worth cleaning the food processor three times and pitting fresh cherries myself. Definitely need to allow extra time for cooling the crust. Fresh cherries make this dish and completely satisfied that cheesecake craving!
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