Years ago, I entered these bars in a contest and won first place! Best of all, you can make them a day or two in advance. Or top individual bars with cherry pie filling for Christmas color.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, walnuts, brown sugar and butter. Set aside 2 cups. Press the remaining mixture into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla just until combined. Pour over crust.
- Sprinkle with reserved walnut mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and filling is set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Cheesecake Bars in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2006, p72
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