Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Shortbread Bars

When I first saw the recipe for these shortbread bars on SouthernLiving.com, I knew I had to make them. I just wanted to wait until strawberry season when I had my own fresh strawberry jam to make them with. And boy, this recipe did not disappoint. The slightly crunchy shortbread on the bottom, combined with the creaminess of the strawberry jam and cream cheese topping and just a little zing of lemon in every other bite, makes for a very happy mouth! Even if you don't have your own homemade jam, you really should give these a try. The Southern Living recipe called for strawberry preserves. I chose to go with strawberry jam because that's what I had already made and I prefer a sweeter filling, but feel free to use the preserves if you like a slightly more tart taste.
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup cold butter
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup strawberry jam


Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350° degrees (F). Stir together flour, powdered sugar, and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of a lightly greased (with nonstick flour spray) or parchment lined 13- x 9-inch pan.
I like to line my baking pan with parchment paper. I think it makes it just a bit easier to get the bars out. That first piece is always the hardest to cut out.

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

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat just until blended after each addition. Stir in fresh lemon juice and remaining 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, beating well. Spread jam over shortbread. Pour cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake 28 to 32 more minutes or until set.  Let cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars. 

Cook's Note: I think this would be delicious with so many types of jams. Raspberry or Blackberry would make very nice substitutes.

Enjoy!

27 comments:

Annie's Dish said...

I have had many positive experiences using recipes from Southern Living. This one looks like a definite winner. I love the combination of strawberry and lemon!

Lisa@Flour Me With Love said...

I've always wanted to make lemon bars and this recipe is a great way to start!

Melynda said...

I also think my rhubarb jam would be wonderful here. A recipe like this offers so much, it is delicious just like it was presented, but open to using what you have on hand. The best kind of recipe if you ask me. Thanks so much.

Bo said...

I'm still half aseelp...but I want one!

RavieNomNoms said...

That looks incredible! You have my mouth watering!

Carolyn said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Looks AMAZING!!

Becky said...

Brandie
You continue the lemon strawberry theme! Love it! of course , I love strawberries and lemon, but never thought to pair them in shortbread. I'll be making these soon! Thanks for sharing.

Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 said...

Wow! I love this. Strawberries and lemon are so good together, and the bars are so pretty, too. I just pinned this.

Gloria said...

OMG Brandie This look amzing and delicious! gloria

Lark (SparkyLarky) said...

Oh heavens Brandi...Now I am gonna have to make these! They look so good.

Kimberly said...

Oh Yummy, yummy in my tummy!!! They look great! You did a fantastic job Bran.

Holly said...

Oh wow. You had me at lemon. These look divine Bran! Oh, and that strawberry bread was deeeelish!! : )

Ang said...

I love that your ahead of me for strawberry season because your filling up my "to do recipes" for next month. Another great one to try. Yippee!

Rhondi said...

YUM! These look so good! I'm happy I saved some strawberry jam like you suggested :)

Kathleen said...

Wow! These look amazingly delicious! I adore Southern Living! I'm embarrassed by how many of their cookbooks I have. LOL

carolinaheartstrings said...

This recipe looks like it is to die for. I cannot wait to give it a try.

~Melissa~ said...

Oh, my--these look divine! I need to make these sometime very soon. :)

Veronica Gantley said...

See, even if you dont go strawberry picking, you can get the strawberries from the grocery store and make this. I love the lemon and strawberry flavor,

Rosemary said...

Can't wait for strawberry season but I love these now!

Joi Malkin said...

WOW! These look delish! I would love it if you could stop by Heck Fridays tomorrow (Thursday) and post it on our first link party!

http://www.heckfridays.blogspot.com

Hope to see you soon!!!

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

These look so delicious!! I'm definatly saving the recipe!

Lizzy said...

Brandie! These look amazing...cream cheese with berries is a fabulous combination! Congrats on your new domain :)

The Mom Chef said...

Yum! You know I love cream cheese and since it's strawberry season, I can head out and pick a batch for this. Trust Southern Living to have another winner.

Sue said...

So many great taste sensations in one bar~YUM!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Oh my. Yum! I think I will be making these for our next church potluck - sounds so delicious!

Julie said...

Yummy....not sure I can make these fast enough ;)

Lovely Light said...

Hi there- found you through the hop and am a new follower. I'm always looking for recipes that I can make here in SA- these look so yummy! I hope you have time to follow my life in South Africa by http://withoutcomplexities.blogspot.com

I hope you have a great week!