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    Black Bottom Cherry Cheesecake Bars

      Servings:   36 bars

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips (divided)
      12 cup unsalted butter
      Nonstick cooking spray
      1-12 cups granulated sugar
      2 large eggs
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      14 teaspoon baking soda
      14 teaspoon salt
      2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
      1 cup cherry preserves
      12 teaspoon almond extract
      5 to 6 drops red food coloring (optional)
      2 large eggs, lightly beaten
      1 teaspoon shortening

    Directions
    1. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir the 3/4 cup Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and the butter over very low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Coat with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
    3. Stir sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan. Add the two eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. Stir in vanilla.
    4. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
    5. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth. Add cherry preserves, almond extract, and, if desired, food coloring. Beat on medium speed just until combined. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the remaining two lightly beaten eggs (do not over mix).
    6. Carefully spoon cherry mixture over the brownie layer; spread evenly to cover the brownie layer.
    7. Bake about 50 minutes or until edges are puffed and set (center will still jiggle when pan is slightly shaken). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill at least 2 hours before cutting. Using edges of the foil, lift the uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into bars.*
    8. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the 1/4 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and the shortening. Microwave on medium power (50 percent) for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 30 seconds to avoid scorching. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate mixture.
    9. Enjoy immediately, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

    Using sharp knife, cut into bars. Wipe blade clean after each cut.

    Prep: 40 minutes
    Bake: 50 minutes
    Cool: 1 hour
    Chill: 2 hours