What yumminess do we have from April's kitchen today?
These simple little bars are actually a result of a recipe gone wrong, but they've turned out to be one of my yummiest! Easier than they look, and so delicious! Proof that sometimes mistakes make the best creations!
Raspberry Cheesecake Shortbread Bars(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Softened butter (for brushing sides of foil)
1 cup jam or preserves (I used peach) with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice mixed in
1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tb all-purpose flour
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, leaving extra foil extending over ends (use these later to lift bars from pan); set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until it just begins to blend and soften slightly, about 30 seconds.
Add brown sugar and salt, beat on low speed just until it's mixed in, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With mixer off, add the 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed until flour is incorporated. Increase speed to medium, mix until ingredients lump together in a smooth dough. Don't worry about over-mixing.
Break dough into small chunks and distribute in prepared pan; with your fingers press dough into an even layer.
Bake 20 minutes or until dough has begun to puff and edges are golden. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
Lightly brush exposed sides of foil with softened butter to keep filling from sticking. Spread jam evenly over crust. Sprinkle evenly with raspberries.
In a large bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Mix in granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour until blended. With mixer running, add egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Pour cream cheese filling evenly over the berries. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is barely jiggly in the middle. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate and chill for at least 2 hours.
Use foil to lift the bars from pan. With a knife for help if necessary, gently peel the foil down from sides of the bars.
Cut into long bars, peel foil from bottom, and transfer to cutting board to cut into squares.
So, I waited too long to make mine, most of my berries molded... so I put the survivors on top, but I think they would be much yummier under the blanket of cheesecake, becoming one with the jam.
I was worried the jam would disappear into the filling... but it didn't! You could make this recipe with any berry/jam combination you can dream of! Don't forget the lemon juice though, it cuts through the sweetness of most store-bought jams. Some might think there is a rather unbalanced crust-to-filling ratio here, but I loved it. The crust is a fabulous buttery toothsome shortbread, and I love all things Scottish, and isn't shortbread originally Scottish? I could be wrong... but that might shake the foundations of my cookie world... The creamy cheesecake and tangy fruits complement it wonderfully. This was easy, pretty, and delicious, and I will definitely make it again!
Have a Delightful Day!
Any cooking questions? Looking for new recipes? Click April's kitchen here.
Do you have a favorite mistake? Has it become your best creation?
What is your favorite kind of jam? Is shortbread originally Scottish?
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