Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

I don’t feel about craisins (dried cranberries) like I do about raisins:

otter-raisins

 

This meme totally cracks me up!!! Everytime I see it I have to snicker. I have a brother who makes this kind of face when he’s describing facebook, bagpipes and okra.

It’s not that I really hate raisins, they’re just not chocolate chips, right? Anyhow, this recipe is about craisins but could also be about chocolate chips. In a different version, that is.

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Would you believe it, the first “group” photo I took I realized I forgot the cream cheese so I took another. Then after I was halfway through mixing this up and realized I forgot the craisins.

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It’s really a simple recipe. I started with a butter cake mix, added 1 egg, 1/3 cup oil and mixed in mixer until kinda crumby. Add pecans if you’d like. I didn’t but wished later that I had.

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Press into a 9×13 pan either by hand or a roller thingy like this.

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Put into a 350° heated oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Throw a bar of cream cheese, or Neufchâtel, or cream cheese Greek yogurt into the mixer and beat until smooth. I actually used Neufchâtel in this. Add 1 egg, 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/3 cup sugar and beat again until smooth.

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Pour over the crust that you have pulled out of the oven (you have pulled it out, right???) 🙂

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Sprinkle a cup of white chocolate chips over the cream cheese layer. Then add 1/2 cup (or more to taste) craisins. Put back into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

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The cream cheese layer should be set. Let cool completely and chill before cutting into bars. It’s plenty rich so it’s perfect for a finger food plate. 🙂

 

Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

1 butter recipe cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 – 8 oz. cream cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese with Greek yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Combine cake mix, 1 egg, oil and pecans (optional) and mix in mixer or food processor until crumbly. Press into a 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Mix cream cheese until smooth. Add evaporated milk, 1 egg and sugar and mix until smooth. Pour over cake mix layer that has cooled slightly. Sprinkle chocolate chips and craisins over top. Bake at 350° for another 15 minutes. Chill before cutting into bars.

 

Some variations on the recipe include:

Chocolate cake mix
milk chocolate chips

Lemon cake mix
White chocolate chips and/or lemon chips (bulk food stores often carry them)

You can also save some of the cake mix crumbles from the crust mix to sprinkle on top of the chips/cream cheese before baking.

I make this recipe for every bake sale that I help with and there are never any left. I wish there was at least 1 left for me to taste! 🙂

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