Looking for something a bit different for dessert? Try this cross between coffee cake and cheese cake. The bottom and top layers are a light and buttery streusel with a silky cream cheese layer in the middle. Simple to make. Delicious to eat.
CREAM CHEESE CRUMB BARS
Servings: 9-18 pieces
⅓ cup unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup light brown sugar, plus two tablespoons, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped and divided
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup granulated sugar
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil pressing tightly up the sides.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and ⅓ cup of brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add flour until just combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and blend ½ of the chopped nuts in by hand. Stir the mixture until small crumbs form. Reserve one cup of this mixture and set aside.
- Take the remaining mixture and press into the prepared 8×8 pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.
- To the reserved cup of crumb mixture, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, remaining ½ cup of chopped nuts, and one tablespoon of oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Place the stand mixer bowl back on with the paddle attachment, and cream sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and mix again.
- Add the egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat until very light and creamy.
- Pour this mixture over the cooked crust in the cooled pan, and top with the reserved topping (pressing just slightly into the mixture).
- Bake for 25 minutes and cool on a rack in the pan. Once cool, lift the foil edges up and place the bar on a cutting board. Fold the foil down flat and slip the foil out.
- With a sharp, serrated knife, cut the whole pan into 3 rows by 3 rows (for a total of nine squares). Then, cut each square in half (corner to corner), yielding 18 triangle pieces.