I’m outta here! Temporarily, that is. I will be heading out-of-town later this week with a bunch of girlfriends to have girl time and fun times down at the river. The Guadalupe River in Texas is a wonderful place to unwind, relax, chill out, call it what you like. I plan on doing just that. Oh, I’ll be thinking about The OrangeBee and you, what you’ll be doing, cooking, baking, how you’ll spend your Saturday morning…..how many great posts you’ll write before I get back….I”ll have some catching up to do – but I”m ok with that. I wouldn’t miss “River Girls Weekend” for anything. Lucky for me my adoring hubby will hold down the fort on the ridge and keep a watchful eye on Miss T.
Before I go I want to share this creamy, crunchy, fruity, Lemon-Berry Cheesecake Bar recipe with you. It may be the last “sweet” recipe before May arrives and I move on to another theme in the blogosphere. If the girls are fortunate I’ll pack a few of these for the trip. It makes a large batch so I think they will have the chance to enjoy these sweet little bars.
I’ve planned our menus and grocery lists as I was crowned “chef” for the trip. I’m happy with that, I cook, they clean! Grilled Chicken Caesar, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Watermelon Gazpacho, Goat Cheese Spread with Figs, Rosemary and Honey, Pasta w/Tomato Cream Sauce, Orange & Avocado Salad, Spinach & Goat Cheese Omelets, and Orange Waffles, are just a few of the meals and appetizers we will enjoy. A glass of wine or two, some sun down by the river, a little movie watching, reading, talking, talking, talking, laughing, laughing till tears run down your cheeks, etc….. Enough of that…I’m posting this recipe and dragging out my suitcase. See you soon!
Lemon-Berry Cheesecake Bars
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, (1 1/2 packages) softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil and grease bottom and sides using preferred method.
To make the crust, in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until creamy, about 1-2 minutes; reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined and crumbly. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden around edges; remove from oven.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in lemon juice, zest and almond extract until combined. Beat in eggs until combined, about 1 minute; pour filling over the top of crust, and evenly sprinkle with blueberries. Return pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until set.
To make the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, almonds, cinnamon and salt, until combined; knead in butter using fingertips or a fork, until ingredients are well incorporated and start to clump together. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture evenly over the cheesecake filling. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for an hour before lightly covering and chilling for 2 hours, or until cold. Lift foil out of pan and slice cheesecake into rows, 3×5, to make 15 bars.
recipe adapted from:/www.visionsofsugarplum.com