Cream cheese bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups margarine, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup well-drained chopped maraschino cherries (optional) 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Beat the margarine, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the margarine mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg.
  4. Mix in the flour, salt, chocolate chips, and walnuts until just incorporated. Fold in the maraschino cherries; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean, about 25 minutes. Watch closely – the finished bars will be very pale in color.
  6. Remove from oven immediately if the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Cool pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
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