Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

With a buttery shortbread crust, luscious lemon cheesecake filling, and a sweet center of strawberry jam, these Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars taste of sunny afternoons spent lounging on a blanket in the grass. Life is easy, the breeze is gentle, and summer feels as if it will last forever more.


Its would be include a wedge of cheese, a bottle of wine, and a plate of these velvety, bright Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars

These Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars are a perfect dessert to enjoy at a backyard picnic of your own or to bring to a party or potluck. They’re simple to make, easily transportable, and can be picked up and polished off with nothing more than your fingers.

Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Bars Recipe
Layers of buttery shortbread crust, strawberry jam, and creamiest lemon cheesecake. The perfect summer dessert!



Ingredients:

FOR THE SHORTBREAD CRUST:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

FOR THE LEMON CHEESECAKE:

  • 16 ounces (2, 8-ounce blocks) light cream cheese, softened (do not use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 2 large Phil’s Fresh Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large Phil’s Fresh Egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup strawberry preserves
  • Fresh sliced strawberries and/or lemon slices, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor (or in a medium mixing bowl if not using a food processor), lightly pulse the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, and salt. Add butter pieces and pulse just until mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse cornmeal. (If not using a food processor, cut butter pieces into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.) The mixture will feel dry to the touch. Press the mixture onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl), beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat just until blended. Mix in the fresh lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and remaining ¼ teaspoon lemon zest. Beat well.
  4. Spread preserves over the cooled shortbread. Pour the cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake an additional 28 to 32 minutes, or until the cheesecake appears set on top and only jiggles slightly when you wiggle the pan. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars and garnish with whipped cream and fresh strawberry slices.

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