Preheat oven to 350°. 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 13- x 9-inch pan.
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 preserves 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; garnish, if desired.
Refrigerate leftovers. Store them in an airtight container up to 2 days.
I just made these and got my first taste of the finished product. Very tasty! However, like someone else commented, I may try using a little less flour next time for the crust. The top never really got browned, and was a little soft when I was trying to spread the strawberry preserves on it. However, for finished product it still tastes delicious! I made my own strawberry preserves to use instead of store-bought. There are some super easy recipes out there to do that, and you can just google it. I am taking these to a potluck bbq tonight. Hope everyone enjoys as much as I do!
Although my attempt doesn't look like the picture, these s cookies are absolutely delicious. I will make these again. I did have to cook them longer than the instructions said. I added ten more minutes so the middle would set, but that was too much time. Next time? I'll try five more minutes.
These were so good and got rave reviews from lots of different food type people. Even those who don't like dessert thought they were good. The lemon cream cheese part is nice and tart and a great contrast to the shortbread base. I used Polaner's All Fruit plus Fiber Raspberry spread instead of strawberry preserves. It was good that way, but I would prefer a chunky strawberry layer. I just don't want to use store bought strawberry preserves with all that added sugar.
I made one change when I made these. I used raspberry non-sugar preserves rather than the strawberry preserves. One change I will make in the future is, I will decrease the amount of flour in the crust probably to one and one-half cups. The crust came out very thick and "flour-y" tasting. Overall, very easy and very good.
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