I've you've been invited to a cookie exchange and don't know what to take or if you just need a bar cookie for holiday gatherings, here's a suggestion -- Triple Berry Cheesecake Bars. The crust is made of flour, coconut and nuts and the filling is a combination of your favorite preserves plus a thin layer of cheesecake.
For this batch, I used Orchard's Finest, but you can use any flavor you want. The cheesecake layer seems pretty thin at first and you might worry there's not enough coverage, but once it's all baked the ratio of cheesecake to jam to crust is perfect. I made a few different batches of these and with one batch, I accidentally left out the egg. I liked it a little better with the egg, but if you know someone with an egg allergy or every store in town is out of eggs (because that happens a lot, right?), you can just leave out the egg.
Triple Berry Cheesecake Bars
- 1 ⅓ cups oats
- 1 cup 4.5 oz all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup tightly packed light or dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt**
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cold
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1 cup lightly toasted pecans
- ½ to ⅔ cup your favorite flavor preserves
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 13x9 inch pan with non-stick foil or line with regular foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Combine the oats, flour, sugar, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the nuts and coconut and pulse once or twice to mix. Measure out about 1 ⅔ cups of crumbly mixture and set aside, then press the rest into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then spread with preserves.
- Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor and add the softened cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla and lemon juice; Process until smooth. Carefully drop spoonful’s over the preserves, spreading gently to cover the jam the best that you can. Sprinkle reserved crumbly mixture over the top. Return to oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for several hours. Lift bars from pan and cut into 32 squares.