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Tuesday 6 December 2016
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Sweet Summer Treat – Raspberry Lemonade Bars

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I like cookies, cake, and ice cream.
There I said it.

Now this is the odd part. I am not even sure how it happened. I’ve always loved ice cream, but somewhere in the past 5-7 years my pretzel/cracker snack preference has mutated into something completely foreign.
A major sweet tooth.

I know I do not need to be setting the example that cookies every night is acceptable. It’s not. I know sweets should be treated as treats. The once in a while sweet is perfectly fine. Everything in moderation, right?

And then I made these…
Raspberry Lemonade Bars
Holy yum of all things delicious.

I was seeing pink lemonade cookies all over Pinterest and was dying to make some. Then I spotted the boxed mix as a summer limited edition and decided to just wing it. I was very excited to see the recipe for the bars I ended up making on the back of the box.

Ingredients:
Crisco Original No-Stick cooking spray
1 (17.5) package Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Flavor Cookie Mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup Smuckers Seedless Red Raspberry Jam
1 (8oz) package cream cheese softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 F; coat 9 inch square baking pan with no-stick spray
2. Mix cookie mix and butter in a large bowl with a fork until crumbly
3. Reserve 3/4 cup crumbs for topping
4. Press remaining mixture evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan and bake 10 minutes
5. Remove pan from oven, carefully spread jam evenly over partially baked crust
6. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth
7. Spoon over jam to cover and sprinkle with reserved crumbs
8. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
9. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
10. Cut into bars and serve.

These bars were incredible! I loves the fluffy texture of the lemony cream cheese paired with the crumbly topping. I took the above mixture a step further by adding in a teaspoon of raspberry extract to the cream cheese blend. The extract gave an additional layer of raspberry to the overall flavor profile that worked very well. I would also suggest lemon extract for the same effect, but something different. I just love any type of berry and lemon together. They are such great complements to each other.

Next time, I would also reserve less of the crumbs for topping. I didn’t like wasting so much as it fell off the completed bars. I didn’t wait long enough to properly chill the bars for my pictures. I was too impatient. PS…the bars are just as delicious a little warm as they were thoroughly chilled. The bars received thumbs up from everyone in the house, even Jed, my little chocoholic. Don’t let using a boxed cookie mix scare you either. It was totally worth the minimal purchase.

What is your favorite berry to pair with lemon?