Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Bar RecipeFor the crust:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. With the paddle attachment of your stand-type mixer, beat the butter until it begins to soften. Add the powdered sugar and the extracts. Beat in the egg yolks and egg. Add the flour and cocoa and continue beating until combined.
2. Press the dough into 9×13 inch baking pan with your hand until it is of uniform depth across the bottom of the pan.
3. Bake for 20 minutes.

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For the filling:

Make the filling while the crust is baking.

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs

1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and extracts together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the eggs and beat at low speed until just combined.
2. Spread the filling over the hot crust. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the center of the filling is just firm.
3. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Spread the pie filling over the cream cheese filling after it has cooled.

How do I tell when my cheesecake is done?
There are two ways to tell if your cheesecake is done. The most foolproof is with a knife or spatula. Slip it into the center of the cheesecake. If it is done, the knife will come out clean.
Sticking a knife in the cake mars the top surface with a cut. With experience, you can tell when the cheesecake is baked with the “jiggle test”. The cheesecake will be almost set when you try to jiggle it. We suggest using the knife test for your first few cheesecakes and jiggle the cake. By observing how a baked cheesecake jiggles, you’ll soon be able to tell without the knife.

My cheesecakes always develop cracks across the tops. What causes that?

Too much air entrained in the batter is usually what causes cracks in the tops of cheesecakes. To avoid this, don’t over mix. Whisk the eggs before adding them to the batter and mix on low speed just until blended. If there are other ingredients to add, mix them in with a spatula.

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