Holiday Cherry Cheese Bars

This is the dessert of choice at my house for Christmas. I can either make 5 different pies to please everyone, or this.

Holiday Cherry Cheese Bars

Crust

1 cup walnut pieces, divided

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup Butter Flavor Crisco

1/2 cup coconut

Filling

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 pan. Set aside. Chop 1/2 cup nuts coarsely for topping. Set aside. Chop remaining 1/2 cup finely.

For the crust, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in Crisco until fine crumbs form. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts and coconut. Mix well. Remove 1/2 cup. Set aside. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake at 350 for 12 – 15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

For filling, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in small bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Spread over hot backed crust. Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes.

Spread cherry pie filling over cheese layer.

Combine reserved coarsely chopped nuts and reserved crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over cherries. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool

This is my journey…

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