Sunday, February 4, 2007

Merry Christmas Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup red maraschino cherries, finely chopped and well drained
1/4 cup green marachino cherries, finely chopped and well drained

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in pecans. Reserve 1 cup of the nut mixture for the topping. Press remaining nut mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until light brown.

For filling, combine cream cheese, egg, granulated sugar, milk, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extract; beat until smooth. Stir in chopped red and green cherries. Pour filling over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle with the reserved nut mixture.

Bake in the 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown and set. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. If desired, decorate each piece with red and green maraschino cherries. Store in refrigerator.

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