Makes 25 servings.
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons green candied cherries, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons red candied cherries, divided
2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix brown sugar with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, flour and walnuts. Stir in butter, using a fork or pastry blender, until crumbly. Remove and set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Place the remainder in the baking pan and press down evenly. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar. Add egg, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Combine well. Add half the red and green cherries and stir until well distributed.
Pour mixture into baked crust. Top with reserved crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes until set and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, stir together the confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake, and then sprinkle with remaining red and green cherries. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and cut into pieces.