Thursday, December 8, 2011

Serving Up {Cookies}: Premier Cheesecake Cranberry Bars

The first time I ate these Cheesecake Cranberry Bars was at my mom's home when I was visiting.  I knew after the first bite that they would be the next "cookie" that I would take to my annual cookie exchange.  As I packaged 12 dozen plates of them, I realized that they were a bit more labor intensive than some of my other choices, but they were worth it.  I was confirmed that they were worth it when a couple of days after the cookie exchange the hostess for that year called me directly to tell me how much she loved them.  This meant a lot coming from this individual as she was a known entertainer and an amazing cook!

If you need a real "knock your socks off" dessert this holiday, this may be just what you are looking for.

(recipe from Linda W.)
printable version

2 cups flour
1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
12 oz. pkg. white chocolate chips
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
14 oz. can sweetened condensed. Milk
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (I prefer Trader Joe's "fresh" sauce sold in the refrigerated section)
2 Tbs. cornstarch

Combine flour, oats and brown sugar in large bowl. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Set aside 2 ½ cups of this mixture to be used as topping. With floured fingers, press remaining mixture into a greased 13x9x2 inch pan.
Beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour over crust layer.
Combine cranberry sauce and cornstarch and spoon over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved morsel mixture over top of all.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the center is set.
Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate up to one day. Cut into bars.

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