October 31, 2004

Cherry Cheesecake Bites

Cherry Cheesecake Bites

Oatmeal Dough
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. AP flour
3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats.
*NOTE* This dough recipe makes *3* portions!

1. In a very large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar and baking soda until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.
2. Using a wooden spoon stir in any remaining flour and the rolled oats. Divide dough into 3 equal portions (about 1 2/3c. each) You can freeze for up to 3 months.

Cheesecake Bites
1 portion oatmeal dough
1/2 c. finely chopped almonds
2 80z packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cherry brandy or almond liqueur or 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs
1/4 c. finely chopped maraschino cherries
Few drops red food coloring
Chopped maraschino cherries

1. Preheat oven to 350f. Line an 11x7 baking pan with foil; grease foil. (I skipped this step)
In a medium bowl, stir together oatmeal dough portion and almonds. Pat into the bottom of the prepared pan, wetting your hands if necessary. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and top is puffed.
2. For batter: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar until combined. Beat in cherry brandy, almond liqueur, or almond extract. (I used kirsch liqueur) Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Transfer 1/4 cup of batter into a small bowl; stir in the 1/4 finely chopped cherries and red food coloring. Set aside.
3. Pour plain batter over warm oatmeal crust. Spoon small mounds of the cherry batter over plain batter. Swirl gently with a thin metal spatula.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Lift chilled, baked cookie out of pan using the foil. Cut into circles with a round cookie cutter. Top with additional chopped maraschino cherries.

To make ahead: Prepare as directed. Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper. Store up to 3 days in refrigerator or freeze for up to 3 months!

The only thing I didn't like about this recipe was all the wasted cheesecake. Take my advice, cut it into bars instead.