Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cheesecake Cookie Bites

This is one of our favorite cookies. It always turns out, has great flavor and is so creamy.
2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
12 tablespoons butter
2  8oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

First, line the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper cut to fold over the sides. This will help you to lift the cookies right out after they are cool for super easy cutting.

Stir together the flour and brown sugar then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it looks like coarse crumbs.
      Pour all but 2 cups in the lined baking dish,
                   then press down with fingers.Bake at 350F. for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.                                                               .
              Beat softened cream cheese until fluffy adding sugar slowly, then add eggs, beating well after each addition. Stir in  lemon juice, lemon zest, milk, and vanilla.
Pour over baked crust. Smooth with a spatula or the back of a large spoon evenly into all the corners.

             Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture and nuts over the cheese batter, bake for 20-25 minutes until it is no longer jiggly.
Cool completely then chill for and hour.
When fully chilled, loosen the ends from the pan, then holding the paper firmly, carefully lift out of the pan and onto a flat surface. With a sharp knife cut the cookie into any size bars you prefer. I happened to be going where I knew there would be a lot of little fingers so I cut them into 1 inch squares. I have also cut this dessert into 12 pieces and served on plates with lemon curls or red raspberry sauce.
Chill until ready to serve.

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