Cream cheese bars
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Beat the margarine, cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from oven immediately if the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Cool pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.