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Strawberry-Cream Cheese Bars

Photo: Christopher Baker; Styling: Linda Hirst
Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 40 mins
Yield Makes 2 dozen
Strawberry preserves make up the fruity layer of these luscious Strawberry-Cream Cheese Bars.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups regular or quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry preserves or jam
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Pulse first 3 ingredients and 1/3 cup sugar in a food processor 3 or 4 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse until crumbly. Add oats; pulse to blend. Set aside 1 1/2 cups oat mixture.

  2. Press remaining oat mixture into bottom of a greased and aluminum foil-lined 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake 10 minutes.

  3. Spread preserves onto crust. Stir together cream cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and almond extract, if desired, in a small bowl. Spoon small dollops of cream cheese mixture onto preserves; sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars.