For the Crust
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Topping
2 21-ounce cans cherry pie filling
whipped cream or whipped topping, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350°F;. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes. Add in flour and mix on low speed until combined. Evenly press dough into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove pan to cooling rack and allow crust to cool completely.
3. Once crust is cool, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar for about 3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and beat an additional minute. Evenly spread filling over cooled crust. Top with cherry pie filling and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. If desired, top with whipped cream or whipped topping before serving.