The following recipe and photography were provided by local blogger Kathleen Ann of Bread Over Heels.
These Strawberry Cheesecake Bars are an indulgent yet light-tasting way to make the most of Heinen’s delicious fresh strawberries.
The filling uses 1 ½ pounds of strawberries, which are turned into both a syrup and a pulp, providing intense flavor and sweetness and allowing for a low level of added sugar in the filling.
Combined with an easy crust made from shortbread cookies, the result is a brightly colored, deeply strawberry-flavored dessert that’s sure to be the perfect accompaniment to Mother’s Day brunch!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
- Total time:
For the Crust
- 16 shortbread cookies (300 grams), such as Walkers
- 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
For the Filling
- 2 lbs. strawberries, divided
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 pack (2 tsp.) unflavored gelatin
- Set aside ½ lbs. strawberries for topping. Wash the remaining 1 ½ lbs. of strawberries to use for the filling.
- Cut off stems and chop into quarters. Transfer to a large food processor and pulse about 10 times to chop down further. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Combine with 1/3 cup sugar. Cover and let sit for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Line an 8×8 baking tin with wax paper greased with butter. Set aside.
- In a food processor, grind shortbread cookies into small crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add melted butter and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Mix to combine.
- Press into prepared baking tin.
- After strawberries have sat for an hour, use a fine-mesh sieve to drain strawberries into another bowl. You will have about 2/3 cup strawberry syrup.
- In a small bowl, set aside ¼ cup of strawberry syrup. Sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside.
- Transfer remaining strawberry syrup to a small pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally and making sure syrup does not boil over.
- While syrup is cooking, return strained strawberries to the food processor. Process for about 30 seconds or until liquefied.
- Drain strawberries again using a fine-mesh sieve, pushing with a spoon or spatula to drain all the liquid. Discard the remaining strawberry seeds and pulp.
- Remove syrup from heat and add remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add syrup mixture to gelatin bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and strained strawberries. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed until completely smooth. Add gelatin syrup mixture and whisk to combine.
- Pour strawberry cheesecake mixture into prepared crust. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set filling. If desired, freeze bars for an hour to facilitate smoother slicing.