Whole Wheat Cherry Cream Cheese Bars
These decadent cherry cream cheese bars will well satisfy your cravings for something rich and sweet. They are made with whole wheat flour, light cream cheese, homemade cherry pie filling, a small amount of butter and some olive oil. Much healthier but still tastes delicious. Nobody can resist these sweets, the more importantly you don't have to feel guilty about it.
if use unsalted, add a pinch of salt
or canola oil, or grape seed oil
coconut, shredded, unsweetened (desiccated)
cream cheese (reduced-fat)
|Cherry pie filling:|
dark sweet pitted cherries
fresh or frozen, about 1 1/3 cups
To make the cherry pie filling:
In a small saucepan, add all the cherry pie filling ingredients, bring a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low or low, and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened and jam like. Remove from the heat and set side.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃).
Grease a 8 by 8-inch pan with butter, then line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
Chop half walnuts coursely for topping. Set aside.
To make the crust:
In a food processer, add the remaining walnuts, flour, brown sugar, butter, oil and coconut.
Process until well ground and coarse meal forms.
Remove ¼ cup and mix with ¼ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts in a small bowl. Set aside.
Press the remaining crumbs in the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
Bake at 350℉ (180℃) F for about 15 minutes, until edges are lighty browned.
Meanwhile prepare the filling:
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the hot baked crust. Return to the oven.
Bake for about 25 minutes until the cream cheese layer has set.
Spread the cherry pie filling over cheese layer. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over cherries.
Return to oven and keep baking for another 20 minutes or until the top starts to become golden and brown.
Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Refrigerate for at least several hours or overnight until it sets. Cut into 16 squares.
The bars can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.