Cream cheese crumb bars

Cream cheese crumb barsLooking 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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil pressing tightly up the sides.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and ⅓ cup of brown sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add flour until just combined.
  5. 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.
  6. Take the remaining mixture and press into the prepared 8×8 pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Place on a rack to cool.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Add the egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat until very light and creamy.
  10. Pour this mixture over the cooked crust in the cooled pan, and top with the reserved topping (pressing just slightly into the mixture).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

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