Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars
What You Need For the Crust/Topping:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
- 1 cup Butter chilled
For the Filling:
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1- 3 oz. pkg. strawberry jello*
- 2- 8 oz. brick cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar divided
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Make the Crust/Topping:
- Preheat the oven to 350-degrees (F).
- In a mixer bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and pecans on low. Add cut butter and mix on low until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs. About pea to marble-sized, like you see above.
- Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9×13″ pan. Press it down to create the crust.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until it just starts to be a tiny bit golden on the edges.
Make the Filling:
- In a medium-sized bowl, coat the rhubarb with the jello and 1/2 cup of the sugar. (See note above if you want to substitute fresh strawberries.)
- For the cream cheese mixture, I used the same one that I’d used for the crust, pouring the reserved half of the crust into another, smaller bowl. No need to wipe it down, it’s all getting mixed up anyway.
- In the mixer bowl, combine room temperature cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well-blended.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the partially-baked crust, and spread it evenly.
- Sprinkle the coated rhubarb/strawberry mixture over the cream cheese (be aware that the cream cheese mixture is soft, so you won’t be able to do a lot of spreading without getting it all mixed up).
- Top with the remaining crust mixture.
- Bake at 350-degrees (F) for 40-45 minutes. Until the edges are brown and bubbling, and the center is still kind of wobbly when you shake it, but not too wobbly.
- Cool on a cooling rack for about an hour, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Cut into bars, and enjoy!