Ultimate Fresh Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

One bite and you'll agree these bars live up to their "ultimate" name. As indicated in the recipe, frozen unsweetened raspberries (individually frozen in bags, not in sweetened syrup) may be substituted for fresh if you're making these when berries are out of season. It is essential, however, that the frozen raspberries are not thawed.

1  package (19.5-ounce) brownie mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
4  large eggs
2  packages ( 8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh raspberries (1 pint) or frozen (not thawed) unsweetened raspberries
1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark-coated metal pan). Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray the bottom only of a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl mix the brownie mix, melted butter, and 2 of the eggs with a wooden spoon until just blended and all dry ingredients are moistened. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake 18 minutes. Remove from oven (leave heat on).

While the brownie base bakes, in a medium mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer set on medium until light and fluffy. Add the remaining 2 eggs, vanilla, and flour and beat until smooth, scraping down sides with rubber spatula. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over batter. Distribute the raspberries evenly over the cream cheese layer.

Bake bars on a middle oven rack for 22 to 25 minutes, or until topping is just barely set when the pan is jiggled (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars or squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 10 min
chill 3 hours after baking

Cook Time: 45-50 min

Servings: makes 24 large or 36 small bars

Recipe By: Camilla V. Saulsbury

From:  Brownie Mix Bliss
Used with permission of Cumberland Press