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Apricot Orange Cheesecake Bars


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Apricot Orange Cheesecake Bars
Apricot Orange Cheesecake Bars
Here's the latest in my flavor experiments with one of my favorite freezer-friendly cookie bar recipes. Apricot and orange is a great flavor combination and go deliciously hand in hand in these buttery cheesecake squares.


Apricot Orange Cheesecake Bars

Recipe by Barry C. Parsons
Apricot Orange Cheesecake Bars - a freezer friendly recipe with the delicious combination of dried apricots in a citrus flavored cheesecake surrounded by buttery shortbread crumble.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: About 1 hour
Yield: 24 cookie bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest, finely minced 
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
Directions
  1. In a food processor pulse together the flour, vanilla, sugar and butter until crumbly (or simply cut the butter through the flour and sugar with a pastry knife or two butter knives held between your fingers)
  2. Save a 1/2 cup of this crumble mixture to sprinkle over the top later.
  3. Press the rest of the crumble mixture into the bottom of a greased or parchment lined 9x9 inch square baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes while preparing the cheesecake filling.
  5. Beat together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Beat in the egg and orange zest.
  7. Fold in the chopped apricots.
  8. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly onto the pre-baked cookie base and sprinkle the reserved cookie crumble over the surface.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving.
  10. Refrigerate in airtight containers. Freezes well too.

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