Monday, September 5, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blow

How is your Monday going so far?  Here is a recipe to make it even better!

This blog features Lois Elaine Mueller's recipes every Monday. Lois' heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Many of Lois Elaine's dessert recipes feature cherries.  Why?  The Muellers were from Michigan, which happens to produce some of the country's best cherries, so the family ate a lot of them.  This recipe, for Cherry Cheese Bars, calls for canned cherry pie filling, so you can make this recipe any time of the year, in any part of the world!

Lois Elaine's Cherry Cheese Bars:

1 c. walnuts, divided
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter-flavored Crisco (or butter, or butter substitute)
 1/2 c. flaked cococut

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 13x 9" pan.  Chop 1/2 c. of the walnuts for the topping. Set aside. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts finely.

For crust:
Combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in Crisco until fine crumbs form. Add 1/2 c. nuts and coconut. Mix well. Remove 1/2 c. of mixture and set it aside. Press the remaining crumbs in the bottom of the pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla until smooth. Spread over hot baked crust and return to oven. Bake 10 minutes longer. Spread cherry filling over cheese layer. Combine nuts and remaining crumbs and sprinkle evenly over cherries. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more.  Cool and cut into 24 bars.

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