Friday, June 14, 2013

SOUTHERN LIVING'S STRAWBERRY-LEMON BARS

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup cold butter
2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup strawberry preserves
Sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Stir together flour, powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned.

While crust bakes, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each one.  Stir in the lemon juice and remaining lemon zest, beating well.

Spread the preserves over the shortbread crust; top with the cream cheese mixture spreading all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately a half hour until set.

Allow to cool for 1 hour on a wire rack then cover and chill for 4 to 8 hours.



Cut into 48 bars to serve and garnish with the whipped cream and a fresh strawberry slice per bar.

Note: I got the basics of this recipe from an old Southern Living magazine.

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