Strawberry Shortbread Bars have shortbread on both the top and bottom with a layer of cream cheese and strawberries in the middle. Buttery, sweet and crunchy all at the same time. A great afternoon snack or dessert.
Some weekends, I just go a little overboard on cooking. However, I had picked up the Summer Cuisine magazine on cookies and bars and couldn’t resist, I wanted to make everything in it. This is the third recipe I’ve tried and all three have been keepers. These shortbread bars take a couple of steps but they are delicious and one to make in the dead of winter when strawberry season is far from sight.
They are a bid different from most shortbreads because you start by adding walnuts to the crust to give them a nice crunch and wonderful nutty taste. They were also fun to make because you freeze the dough and then shred it in the food processor. I’m not sure why you need to shred it, but it looks cool. I suppose it helps with the texture. In any event, they not only looked cool and were fun to make but they tasted great. I used strawberry rhubarb jam which was fabulous and looked perfect for brunch or tea. You can use any berry type jam with these or even use a combination of what’s in your fridge. Adding a bit of black pepper to the jam gives you a bit a surprise with each bite.
I made these again for the girls and they loved them. The cream cheese layer in the middle with the jam is the perfect combination. It’s a nice change from a really sweet cookie or bar.
If you have some extra fresh strawberries on hand, slice them up and serve a few pieces with each slice of dessert. Any extra strawberries you have that you don’t want to get moldy, read my tips for keeping them fresh longer in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Cuisine
- 3 ¼ cups flour
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 cups suar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ sticks butter softened
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 16 ounces preserves
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- Pulse 1 ¼ cup flour with walnuts in a food processor until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat until fluffy and color lightens. Add flour mixture and vodka and beat just until combined. Divide dough in half, shape each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze until firm. (1 hour or longer)
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Beat together cream cheese and sour cream until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together preserves and pepper until combined.
- In a food processor shred half the dough and spread into the bottom of a 9 x 13 greased pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over the crust , then spread jam mixture on top. Shred remaining disc of dough and spread over fillings.
- Bake until golden brown, about 40 -45 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.