Triple Berry/Cream Shortcake Bars

>> Friday, June 12, 2015

Light Berry-Cream Shortcake Bars
Even better than strawberry shortcake!
When we took a cooking course in Tuscany, we learned how to make a traditional apricot tart with the super-fresh and aromatic apricots the villa owners grew on their Agriturismo farm. I still have to write and post that delectable recipe, but I've used the basic shortbread crust for a lot of tarts and dessert bars since then.

The beginning of June is prime strawberry season here in Chicago. When I was growing up in the country, my birthday always had fresh strawberries in it - usually ones I'd picked that morning. The smell of a perfectly ripe strawberry brings me back to those dewy mornings walking barefoot out to the strawberry patch...and my mom brewing fresh jam in the afternoon. Lovely.


For the Crust

1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest

For the Bars

12 oz. light cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries (or blackberries, or both!)
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup Triple Sec liqueur


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add it to the butter mixture while mixing. 

Grease a 9x11 baking pan and spread the dough on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 18-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes.
Whip the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar together. Spread over the crust, then top with rows of berries. Drizzle the orange liqueur over the berries. Cut into squares and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 15-18 bars.


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