Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Cookie Bars

4 1 ounce each, unsweetened baking chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup butter, (2sticks)
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1, 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cup mini kisses (milk chocolate or semi sweet), (10 oz)
baking pieces, divided
1/2 cup chopped red or green Maraschino cherries (optional)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
few drops red food coloring (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9x2 baking pan.

Place baking chocolate and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on High 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, stirring after each minute until mixture is melted. Beat in 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs and vanilla until blended.
Stir in flour; spread batter in prepared pan.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and remaining 1 egg
together. Stir in 1 1/4 cups mini kisses, cherries and almond extract. Add food coloring, if desired.

Drop by spoonfuls over top of chocolate mixture in pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or just until set.
Remove from oven, immediately sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup
mini-kisses over top.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars. Cover, refrigerate leftover bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars.

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