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Author Notes: I have been tweaking this recipe for YEARS (yes I am a slow learner).
Now I can finally say that it has finally come to fruition. Get it? Fruition? Fruit? Strawberries? Ahem.
Anyhoo, every year during strawberry season, I have been working on a recipe that is fresh strawberry cheesecake on top of a blondie crust.
I wanted the blondie to be super rich and chewy, so I added graham cracker crumbs and plenty of brown sugar. The strawberry component had to include fresh strawberries, but I wanted the added punch of tangy lime juice. There’s also a sprinkling of ginger and cinnamon just to spice things up a bit.
I tried using mashed strawberries, sliced strawberries, raw strawberries, cooked strawberries, you-name-it strawberries. All flops.
At first, I was hell-bent on creating layers, but each layer didn’t bake at the same time. Then I tried adding each layer at different increments of the baking process. All flops. Finally it hit me: swirl woman, swirl!
Well, I could go on and on relaying all of my trials and errors (and errors and errors!), but the bottom line is that this latest batch is the real deal. Rich, chewy, tangy, creamy, strawberry-y. I kid you not; they’re GOOD! —Sherry K-Jazzy Gourmet
Makes 16 (2-inch) squares
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, combine strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar and lime juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture reduces to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup sifted flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Whisk ingredients together and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter with brown sugar and mix well. Add 1 egg, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well. Spread in a buttered 8x8x2-inch square pan.
- In same medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 2 tablespoons flour and the remaining egg. Alternately spoon cream cheese mixture and cooked strawberries onto blondie layer. Using a knife, swirl to marble.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 – 50 minutes or until center is set. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cut the blondies into 2-inch squares. Refrigerate leftovers (although there won’t be any!).