Happy Mother’s Day (tomorrow)!!! What a wonderful day to celebrate our amazing mothers!
As I think about how I want to raise my daughter, it makes me so incredibly grateful that my mother instilled strong moral values in me and taught me to never lower them no matter how unpopular they might be. She taught me right from wrong, to believe in Christ and have hope, to work hard and be honest, to serve and love my neighbor, to repent and forgive, to find and have true joy, to seek wisdom and continually learn… She taught me these things by word but mostly by example. She is truly a remarkable woman. I hope that I can be as good of a mother to my daughter (and other future children) as she has been to me.
Another thing my mom taught me is how to make good food.
These yummy Strawberry Cheesecake Bars were inspired by these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars (please excuse the terrible pictures) which are to die for. I love fruit and sauce with cheesecake and the crust and topping just makes this cheesecake bar sing! Mmmm. I can’t wait to try these next time with blueberries or raspberries!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2½ cups strawberries,hulled and diced
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup quick-cooking oats
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 35 strawberries, fanned (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil (for easy removal).
- Mix flour and brown sugar together in a medium bowl. Cut butter in with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan and pat it down. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the middle layer.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Pour over the crust.
- Spread the diced strawberries evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
- Combine flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut butter in with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Spread evenly over the strawberries.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until center is set. Allow bars to cool for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake by lifting the foil out and then cut into 35 square bars.
- Drizzle with strawberry sauce (recipe below) and garnish with fanned strawberries.
(Nutrition Facts for bars include use of the entire strawberry puree recipe however it does not include optional strawberry on top. A medium strawberry on top would add 4 calories and 1 gram carbohydrate to each bar.)
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cold water, divided
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- In a medium sauce pan, heat strawberries, sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low (but still simmering), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix remaining water and cornstarch. Whisk into the strawberry mixture after it has cooked 15 minutes and cook for about 1 more minute until thickened. Remove from heat and puree until smooth with hand blender or in a standing blender.