Cranberry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert for families and parties. Made with canned whole berry cranberry sauce, you can enjoy these moist bars year-round for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
It is not a true cheesecake filling, since it contains no eggs, but the flavor is definitely there. This bar cookie recipe works well for potluck dinners or crowd gatherings since you can cut them to whatever size you need and they are delicious at room temperature.
Not a fan of cranberries? Substitute cherry pie filling or any other canned fruit pie filling.
Cranberry Cheesecake Bars Recipe
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups instant rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar (divided use)
1 cup (2 sticks or 16 Tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
8 ounces (1 large block) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Combine flour, rolled oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and butter with a pastry blender, mixing until crumbly. Remove 1-1/2 cups of mixture and set aside for later use. Press remaining mixture into bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice, whipping until completely combined. Pour evenly over warm bottom layer crust.
Scoop whole berry cranberry sauce into a bowl, stirring gently with a fork to break up the jelly. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar and cornstarch. Mix until combined. Drop cranberry mixture by spoonsful over the cream cheese layer. Gently smooth with the back of a spoon to cover. Sprinkle top with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake 45 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool bar cookies completely before cutting. Refrigerate before serving.
Yield: about 36 bars, depending on how you cut them
Cranberry Cheesecake Bars Recipe Photo ©2021 Peggy Filippone