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Lemon plum cheesecake bars
--------------------------
2 8oz packages cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp (approx) lemon juice
1/8 cup (approx) brown sugar
1/4 cup (approx) lekvar aka prune butter
1 package (or so) shortbread-like cookies like Nilla wafers or pecan sandies, or gluten free versions of such.
4 to 6 tbsp (approx) butter
1 8x8 pan
1 heavy-bottomed glass (like a highball glass) full of coins
1 ziplock bag + kitchen mallet/hammer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put cookies in ziplock bag and smash them to bits with the kitchen mallet. Empty into small bowl. Microwave butter to melt. mix melted butter in with cookie bits and stir to combine thoroughly (can also add a pinch of brown sugar to the mix). It should be like moist sand, not mud, not too crumbly. Add more butter as you think it may be necessary. You can line the bottom of the 8x8 dish with parchment paper if you have it, otherwise maybe a layer of cooking spray or more butter would be good. Pour cookie mixture in the bottom of the 8x8 dish. Use the glass full of coins (make sure the bottom of the glass is CLEAN), to tamp the cookie mixture down, starting at the center of the dish and working your way out to the edges. Set dish aside.

Lekvar is a paste and the idea is to make it more of a pourable syrup. In a small pan on the stove, combine brown sugar, lekvar paste and about 1/2 cup of water over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the mixture combines and starts to boil and reduce a bit. Take the mixture off the heat and set aside.

Cream the cheese and sugar together in a mixer until blended. Add eggs one at a time and stir to combine. Add vanilla and lemon juice, stir to combine. Make sure if you're using a stand mixer that all the cheese and sugar along the sides of the bowl gets mixed in. Pour mixture over the crust in the pan. It will be pretty thick, you may need to use a spatula to smooth it out evenly.

Pour the lekvar syrup over the top in rows or swirls as you like, then take a knife and swirl it in rows/columns through the syrup and the cream cheese mixture until it looks nice. You may need to jiggle the pan a bit afterward to remove any slices/cuts that the knife left in the thick batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until knife or toothpick inserted at the center comes out clear. Turn off heat, open oven door fully to let the heat escape, then open a smidge and let it sit for 10 minutes (to prevent cracking of the top so I'm told). Remove, set on wire racks to cool. Cool the rest of the way in the fridge.

WHEN CUTTING the bars, Use a knife run under warm water to prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the knife as it's cutting. Or if anyone has any better suggestions, let me know because I still have difficulty with this part!
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