Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Strawberries and Cream Bars

     What happens when you have an abundance of strawberries in your fridge??? Well you make an amazing strawberry recipe!! That's what!
     Strawberries were on an amazing sale during Valentines week. I may have bought a container too many, so I thought rather than let them go to waste, I would whip up this yummy treat. I had run across the recipe that inspired this recipe clear back during summer. I printed it off and tucked it away to be made. However, I forgot to get that done. The original recipe was gluten-full. It used a bag of sugar cookie mix and the filling recipe was a little different. So I converted it to gluten free, tweaked a few things and here is the amazing result. I think it turned out pretty darn yummariffic!
Strawberries and Cream Bars

Sugar Cookie Base:
3 cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sour cream

Creamy Filling:
1 C. White Chocolate Baking Chips
1 package (8oz) Cream Cheese

Strawberry Topping:
4 C. Sliced Fresh Strawberries
1/2 C. Sugar
2 T. Cornstarch
1/3 C. Water

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.
Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Spread the batter in the bottom of a 15x10 or a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 min. or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, about 30 min.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the baking chips. Microwave on high for 1 min. Stir and repeat until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in melted chips until blended. Spread over cookie base. Refrigerate while preparing the strawberry topping.

In a small bowl, crush 1 cup of the strawberries. In a small saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in the crushed strawberries and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Cool for 10 minutes and then stir in the remaining 3 cups of strawberries. Spoon topping over the filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving (to allow it to set up). Store covered in the refrigerator.
Mix Sugar and butter together, then add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition

Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Then mix in dry ingredients.
Evenly spread the cookie dough out over the bottom of a pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 min or until golden brown

I may or may not have saved a little cookie dough out to make myself a few sugar cookies...shhhhh do NOT tell ;) I promise not to tell if you do it too!
Spread the creamy filling over the entire cookie base and put into the refrigerator to chill while making the strawberry topping.

I used a potato masher to smoosh my 1 cup of strawberries. It worked great! They weren't too mangled.

Cook the topping until thickened. Cool for 10 min. and then add the other 3 cups of berries.
Spread the strawberry topping over the creamy filling and refrigerate for about 1 hour so it can all set up.

     These are SO good, I will for sure be adding them to my favorite dessert repertoire!! I'm a sucker for anything strawberry.


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