Almond used to be one of those flavors that flew under my radar. I didn't not like it, but I didn't like it either. In fact, I don't know that I had really even given it much thought, let alone tried it - until my junior year at Carroll College. My husband had just proposed. I was so excited to plan my wedding and headed to Helena's annual bridal fair for ideas. Everything you could ever want or need to plan and prepare for weddings was there. Complete with CAKE! One of the local bakeries, Sweet Flours, had set up a beautiful cake table complete with samples. And this is were I first fell in love with almond flavors. They had the most wonderful raspberry cake with almond cream cheese frosting. It is one of my most favorite cakes in the entire world, top two hands down. So this recipe isn't for wedding cake, and it doesn't have any raspberries, but it does have cream cheese and almond flavoring. Throw some cherry chips in there, and what's not to like? Every time I make them, people rave about them. Give them a try, let me know what you think! Wouldn't they be pretty for Christmas or Valentine's Day?
Almond Cherry Chip Cheesecake Bars
*Recipe by Jasey's Crazy Daisy
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
1 box cake mix, any flavor will work, I like Betty Crocker's Golden Vanilla
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, more for dusting
2 teaspoons almond extract OR vanilla if you prefer
1 (10 oz) package cherry baking morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and cake mix, and beat on medium until crumbly. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Using a wooden spoon or spatula that's been sprayed with cooking spray, spread mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle cherry chips evenly over the batter. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla mixing until combined. Pour evenly over cherry chips, spreading all the way to the edges. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool for a bit and dust with powdered sugar. You can either serve them now, or refrigerate and serve chilled like you would a cheesecake. Make sure they have cooled before cutting. If you chill them first, let them sit out for a few minutes before cutting and they will cut much prettier. Store them in the refrigerator though. That is, if you have any left over! Enjoy!
I buy these cherry chips at Wal-Mart. They are also available at Amazon.