3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack in middle. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with 2 crisscrossed sheets of foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides, then lightly butter foil.
Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add flour and almonds, mixing until combined and dough begins to clump together.
Press onto bottom of baking pan with floured fingers.
Bake just until a shade darker and edges begin to pull away from pan, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool crust completely in pan.
Make filling and bake:
Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF.
Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and flour with cleaned beaters at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add half-and-half, then eggs 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated. Pour filling into crust.
Bake in a hot water bath until set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 40 to 45 minutes. (Center will set as it cools.) Transfer pan to a rack and cool completely, about 2 hours.
Chill, uncovered, at least 2 hours.
Using foil overhang, lift cheesecake from pan and peel off foil before cutting into small rectangles.
Cooks’ note: Cheesecake can be chilled (loosely covered once cold) up to 3 days.