Cherries and cheesecake make me so happy! I have always enjoyed the pairing of the two. These Cherry Cheesecake Bars are easy and make a wonderful presentation when served at a party or dinner.
Since we are close to Valentine’s Day, the red of the cherries against the white of the cheesecake are a beautiful way to ring in this lovers holiday.
How to Make Cherry Cheesecake Bars
1. Chop walnuts. Using a food processor is the easiest way to chop nuts. If you do not have one using a knife will work just as well. You will need to chop the nuts until they are very small.
2. Put the ground walnuts, flour, coconut and brown sugar in a bowl. This crust is different from most bar recipes. The main ingredient is the ground walnuts. It gives these bars a deep, rich flavor mixed with the coconut, cherries and cheesecake.
Reserve 3/4 C. of crust to sprinkle on the top at the end.
3. Crumble the soft butter into the walnut mixture. I use my hands to break up the soft butter into small pieces. Then I continue mixing everything together. Keep breaking up the butter into smaller and smaller chunks until they are the size of green peas. You can use two knives to cut up the butter or a pastry blender.
4. Pour crust in a 13 x 9 pan. Pat is down with your hands. To make your crust even, use a sheet of plastic wrap spread over the top and use your hands to move the crust around and pat it down. I love this kitchen hack. I use it every time I make any kind of crust in a 13 x 9 pan.
5. Bake the the crust for 12-15 minutes in a 350° oven. Watch the crust! When it turns golden brown, take it out and pour the cheesecake mixture on the hot crust.
6. While the crust is baking make the cheesecake layer. Mix the cream cheese with the sugar until it is nice and fluffy. Then add the room temperature eggs in one at a time and finish it off with the vanilla.
7. Pour the cheesecake layer over the hot crust and return to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
8. Take the bars out of the oven and pour on a large can of cherry pie filling. Sprinkle with the reserve crust mixture and bake again for another 15 minutes.
9. Cool completely and then put in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. The longer the bars are in the refrigerator the easier they will be to cut and serve.
Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make these.
Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner. I want to know how it turns out.
Cherry Cheesecake Bars
- 1 1/2 Cups Walnuts, chopped
- 1 3/4 Cup Flour
- 3/4 Cup Coconut
- 3/4 Cup Butter
- 2 8 oz. Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- You will need to divide this crust. Reserve 1 cup for the top and use all the rest for the bottom.
- Chop the walnuts in a food processor or use a knife. Chop them very small.
- In a bowl, add the flour, brown sugar and coconut to the nuts.
- Cut up the butter into small pieces and but it in the nut mixture. I use my fingers to break it into even smaller pieces.
- Place crust in a 13 x 9 pan. Use your fingers to spread evenly in pan.
- Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. You want it to be golden brown.
- While crust is cooking, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes
- Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.
- Pour this mixture on the hot crust when it comes out of the oven.
- Cook again for another 15 minutes.
- When the cheesecake is done cooking, take it out and pour on the cherry pie filling.
- Sprinkle on the remaining walnut mixture.
- Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Cool completely and refrigerate overnight.