A Sweet End to Our Anniversary Meal

I wanted to make something special for our anniversary dessert. I mean how else can you follow Champagne Risotto. Then when I came across a recipe for Fresh Cherry Cheesecake Bars in the July 2011 issue of Cooking Light magazine, I knew I had a winner. Plus I still had bags upon bags of cherries that I had bought when I freaked out that they were going out of stock.

I’ve adapted the recipe quite a bit. For starters, after reading the recipe, the crust sounded an awful lot like a shortbread bar crust. That being the case, I knew I had to use the crust from my new addiction.

I also made it to accommodate a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. This clearly is no longer a “light” recipe.

So by doubling the filling recipe, I needed 3 cups of fresh, pitted cherries. This gave me the perfect chance to use my new little gadget that Mr. N surprised me with last week…a cherry pitter! 

I have to say, this thing is so much fun. I pitted these cherries in half the time than it would have taken with a knife. Mr. N is such a sweetie!

I then added the pitted cherries to a sauce pan with water and sugar.

After bringing the cherries to a boil and incorporating some lemon juice and cornstarch, I pureed the mixture in the food processor.

The cherries were then set aside and the food processor was wiped clean. Next I added fat-free cream cheese, Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla and eggs to the processor and liquified.

The batter was then scooped out and spread evenly over the shortbread crust.

Next I scooped little drops of the cherry mixture onto the cream cheese batter.

Then I used a knife to swirl the cherries into the cheese batter.

The cheesecake then baked at 325F for 35 minutes at which point I removed it and let it cool. The cheesecake then needs to be covered and chilled for at least three hours before serving. Once chilled, I sliced the cheesecake into bars and served.

The result: a creamy, delicious little bar of cheesecake goodness. Mike and I loved them and easily gave them 4 spoons. The kids on the other hand were not as impressed. Mr. N didn’t like them at all. Miss A said she did, but then left 3/4 of her bar on her plate (which I happily ate for her). I think, perhaps, they were too rich for them.

Now, many of you may remember how I hid my strawberry lemon bar addiction in the freezer. Well, my freezer is full of little treats again; although this time I didn’t have to hide them. Only Mike and I will eat them.

I placed the leftover bars on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, wrapped them in a sealable plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer. They have been a wonderful little frozen treat. It’s almost like an ice cream bar. Delicious!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to visit my freezer.

Print this recipe: Cherry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

38 thoughts on “A Sweet End to Our Anniversary Meal

  1. marla says:

    That cherry cheesecake looks awesome!
    We are in our final week of Get Grillin’ – Dessert is the theme and we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don’t have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect! This week we have a Rouxbe Cooking School giveaway. http://su.pr/2YaIiV

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    • ChefMom says:

      Freezing them is the greatest. I’ve been eating one every night for the last week. It’s been so much fun and I look forward to my little treat after the kids are in bed each night. 🙂

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  2. Caroline says:

    Oh yum, this sounds so amazing! Great job with the swirling, the bars look gorgeous. The cherry pitter would make this process so much easier too. Sounds like you guys had a delicious anniversary meal. 🙂 Also, I looove Cooking Light magazine. They always have such great recipes.

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    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks Caroline! Isn’t Cooking Light fun?! Everytime I get it in the mail I get so excited. Then I sit down and go through flagging pages and cutting recipes. They have such great stuff in there. 🙂

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    • ChefMom says:

      Oooh! Now there’s an idea. I don’t see why blueberries wouldn’t work. Yum! I’ve never used Greek Yogurt in baking before, but this turned out wonderfully!

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    • ChefMom says:

      LOL! I’ll let him know, but I think this one was all Mr. N. He’s such a good little gift giver. I definitely recommend a cherry pitter. It made this recipe so much easier.

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  3. Kelly says:

    Ooh, love the swirl effect… how fun. These cheesecake bars look so yummy and I agree, the freezer is a great hiding place! What a great anniversary meal.

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    • ChefMom says:

      I like the swirl too. It’s not a very strong cherry flavor – only subtle, but it’s so pretty. And the best thing about the freezer is that it keeps me from eating things all in one sitting. 😉

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    • ChefMom says:

      Hands down it’s the best crust. Once I saw the ingredients I knew that I had to use it in place of what the recipe recommended. It was so tasty too. 🙂 I’m forever in your debt for this crust.

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  4. Charles says:

    Cheeeeeeesecake – my first love! I remember falling in love with this stuff when I had it for the first time around the age of 12. I still think it’s the most divine invention known to man!
    I totally need a cherry pitter as well – you should have seen my kitchen after my Clafoutis! 😀

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    • ChefMom says:

      The cherry pitter is definitely great for making the process easier. I’m not sure it makes it any cleaner though. LOL! I’m with you – cheesecake is definitely one of my favorite desserts. My absolute favorite is NY cheesecake drizzled with a triple berry sauce. Yum!

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  5. Laura says:

    Happy Anniversary! Champagne Risotto sounds amazing and what could be better than cherries and cheesecake to end the meal?! I love your pictures and especially the one of the cherry pitter with the two bowls on the cutting board. I hope you have many more happy years together!

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  6. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    My father makes the best homemade cheesecake I’ve ever had, besides a famous cheesecake restaurant I love in NYC lol. I know he has never heard of Cherry Cheesecake Bars, so I’m going to make these bars and bribe him to give me his recipe lol. One recipe for another. Love this girl. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and I hope you two are still smiling after this weekend 😉

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    • ChefMom says:

      Thanks Kay. I would love to try your dad’s homemade cheesecake. I’d never really been a fan of the homemade cheesecakes that I’ve tried – and I’d never made one of my own. But this one was quite delicious. Still is…yum. (Snacking on a little bar now.) And I’m a huge fan of NY style cheesecake. I could make a meal of it! Have a great night. 🙂

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