Strawberry Cream Cheese Butter Bars

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A few years ago I made these almond cream cheese shortbread bars and realized that the bars are also perfect with strawberries.

My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I bought 5 pounds of strawberries and using some for this dessert was a necessary move.

Easy Bars consist of a buttery butter crust topped with cream cheese and an almond extract flavored filling before glazing the bars and topping with strawberries.

I love the almond extract, it is used in both the filling and the icing, and the flavor really shines. If you don't like it that much, you can reduce the amount or replace it with vanilla extract.

But I can't imagine doing it since I want to use almond extract as perfume.

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Juicy strawberries, sweet icing, a slightly spicy cream cheese filling and a buttery crust are a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Butter Bars

Easy Bars consist of a buttery butter crust topped with cream cheese and an almond extract flavored filling before glazing the bars and topping with strawberries. If you don't like almond extract as much, you can reduce the amount or replace it with vanilla extract. Juicy strawberries, sweet icing, a slightly spicy cream cheese filling and a buttery crust are a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Ingredients:

Cortex

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very smooth (1 stick)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional or to taste

Filling

  • 4 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened (lite is fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of almond extract (I used 2)

Cream

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, very soft, almost melted (half a stick)
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of almond extract
  • about 2 tablespoons of cream or milk
  • about 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced or sliced

Addresses:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Cortex – In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients of the crust and with two forks or an electric hand mixer at low temperature, cut the butter in the dry ingredients until they are evenly distributed and form lumps and pieces of sand the size of a pea. The softer the butter, the faster and easier it is.
  3. Turn the mixture into a prepared skillet and pack it with a spatula to create a flat, even and even crust layer. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, or just until just cooked through (the pan will return to the oven, so it won't overcook or the crust will crumble). While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
  4. Filling – In a large bowl (same is fine, just wipe it with a paper towel), add all the filling ingredients and beat by hand or beat with an electric mixer over medium heat until smooth and combined. I prefer a stronger almond flavor and use 2 teaspoons of extract, if it doesn't, reduce the amount.
  5. After the crust has baked for about 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and evenly pour the filling mixture over the crust. The padding will probably slide into place, but if necessary, spread it slightly at the corners with a spatula
  6. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 16 to 19 minutes, or until the filling no longer moves in the center and the edges have started to form; the filler will install more as it cools.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Cream – In a large microwave safe bowl (same is fine, just wipe with a paper towel), add the butter and heat for about 30 seconds in the microwave or until very soft and almost melted, but do not liquefy .
  9. Add the confectionery sugar, the almond extract and slowly drizzle the cream while beating by hand or beating with an electric mixer. As needed, add additional cream (or sugar) to achieve the desired glaze consistency.
  10. Frost the bars evenly, lightly smoothing the frosting with a spatula as needed.
  11. Let the bars cool in the uncovered skillet for at least 1 hour (or overnight and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil) before cutting and serving so the frosting can form.
  12. Before serving, sprinkle evenly with strawberries. Tip: Berries can run and bleed into the frosting, so if you're serving this for a major event, be sure not to add strawberries until just before serving. The bars will remain airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days (without adding strawberries). I am comfortable storing frosted items at room temperature; if it isn't, store it in the refrigerator, as the bars can overdrive in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from almond butter and cream cheese cookie bars

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