Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strawberry-Almond Squares

I listened closely, and these bars giggle, "Summertime!  It's summertime!"

They are delicious, light-tasting (but they have coconut oil, so they aren't light-light), and easy to make.

Perfect to eat while you're curled up on the couch watching an afternoon thunderstorm roll in...

The printable recipe, at your service.

Strawberry-Almond Squares
Makes 24 bars

1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
8 tablespoons melted coconut oil (substitute melted unsalted butter if necessary)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (with skins or blanched)
1 1/3 cup strawberry preserves (12-ounce jar)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract (substitute almond extract if desired)
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Have an oven rack set in the center of the oven.  Set aside an ungreased 13-by-9 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, coconut oil, and almonds.  Use a sturdy wooden spoon to mix well; the mixture will be crumbly.  Reserve 1 cup for topping.  Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan.  Use your fingertips and press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides.  Spread the preserves over the crust.  Set the pan aside.

In the same mixing bowl (no need to wash it), stir the cream cheese until it's smooth and creamy.  Then add in the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and egg.  Mix until well combined.  Retrieve the pan with the crust and preserves.  Spread the cream-cheese mixture evenly over the preserves (you can use an off-set spatula) so that it cover the entire surface.  Scatter the reserved crust mixture over the filling.  

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is set and the sides are beginning to bubble.  Allow the bars to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes.  Then cut into 24 even squares.  

Recipe adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor


Erin Southwell said...

These look awesome, Ginny! You had me at strawberries and cream cheese!

Mary said...

I agree! Strawberries? Cream cheese? What's not to love?? BTW, where are you that you are enjoying an afternoon thunderstorm? I haven't seen rain in.... a very long time. :-(

Mary said...

I laughed at the part of the recipe where it says, "allow the bars to cool"!

Ginny said...

Ha, Mary! I knew you were going to catch me on that one! Actually, as I posted the recipe this afternoon, there were a few dark clouds gathering in the distance and so I let my imagination run wild.

I know---we really, really need the rain. I've never seen it this bad before. :/