Saturday, July 11, 2015

From the Kitchen - Outside the Nest

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

I lived to talk about my second choice for the Pastors' conference at our church. If you missed it, on Tuesday I shared my recipe for Sour Cream Brownies, and I licked the bowl, the contents of which included raw egg. Today is a whole different ballgame, so to speak. Sort of.
Let me tell you a story first. I have this recipe that calls for a quick bread mix, along with other fine ingredients. So, being on top of things like I'm known to be(stop sniggering), I took my trusty list to the grocery store. They didn't have the mix, but I proceeded to pick up the remaining items.
On the way home, the light bulb came on, or was it that it turned off? How could I make the recipe when I didn't have the mix to go with the remaining ingredients? Rats. I had had another one of those senior moments, thinking I was doing such a great job in the store.
After much thought, I realized that I didn't need a mix. I have 5.2 billion(only a slight exaggeration) recipes, and surely there was a quick bread recipe similar to the mix.
I was right. Now this is my exclusive recipe.

Cinnamon, sugar, and finely chopped pecans. What a great start.

The dry ingredients go in the bowl first. I just want to say that I do spoon my flour into a cup and level it off. I've found that if I just scoop into the flour(like my Mom did), and give it a shake to level it off, it compacts, and I end up with too much flour. I've learned this making bread in my bread machine.

Egg and melted butter. Yes, an actual egg, not my usual liquid egg product; and real butter. After all, I'm baking for a group of pastors. They deserve nothing but the best.

Then I pat it into the pan, while standing over said pan so that the picture becomes dark and shadowy.

This is what I use for the raspberry layer. However, raspberry jam will work just as well.

I stir mine in a cup to loosen it up a bit,

and spread it on.

Next, cream cheese, real eggs, powdered sugar, vanilla. I used reduced-fat cream cheese, but full-fat will work just as well. And yes, I used real eggs again, and not the liquid egg product.

Spread it over the raspberry layer, and sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar-pecan mixture.

Bake until nicely browned, and the top is set and begins to crack.

Drizzle with glaze.
You know how sometimes they forecast drizzle, and you end up with puddles? Well, that's what happened here.

I can't say 'Was it ever good', because I couldn't cut a piece for myself. I only do that if I'm taking something to a family get-together. Then I use the excuse that I had to taste test it.
Was it ever good? I'll have to ask the conference attendees. Since they are pastors of the church, men of the cloth, men of God, leaders of our faith, they wouldn't lie, would they?

I do know that my much smaller pan was good, because I had some cream cheese left over, and I wanted to use it up, so I finagled the recipe to fit in my bread pan.

Ah, the tasty layers of fabulous goodness.
Yes, it was ever good. 
Happy Saturday

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

1-1/2 C granulated sugar, divided
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans
2 C all-purpose flour
1 Tsp baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 eggs
3/4 C raspberry preserves
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3-1/2 C powdered sugar, divided
1 Tsp vanilla
3 to 5 Tsp water

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 1/2 C granulated sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl; set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine remaining granulated sugar, flour, baking soda, melted butter and 1 egg; mix well. Spread dough in bottom of an ungreased 13x9-inch pan to form crust. Spread preserves on top of crust. Beat cream cheese in bowl until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs, 2-1/2 C powdered sugar, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spoon and spread mixture over preserves. Sprinkle cinnamon/pecan mixture over top. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 1 hour. In small bowl, combine 1 C powdered sugar and enough water for desired drizzling consistency; blend until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bars. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator.

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