I love having a reason to make a dessert, so when we planned a get together with some friends this past weekend I ran to the cookbook shelf in search of deliciousness. I got the Magnolia Bakery book and began looking for a recipe that I could make without having to go to the store. I found a recipe for Apricot Cream Cheese Streusel Bars. It called for a jar of apricot jam…I will never have apricot jam in my house because I am not a big fan of apricots. I did have 3 jars of homemade jam my friend Carrie had given me; strawberry rhubarb, strawberry blueberry and plain blueberry. I’d already made a good dent in the blueberry so I decided to use the strawberry blueberry. I did everything else according to the recipe. These are so very yummy, but good gosh, the butter usage is incredible! I’m going to look for a way to lighten these a bit. I found the crust to be a bit thick and at times it crumbled. So maybe I could use less crust. Also, the streusel was delicious but overwhelmed me…I would use less of that also. The filling…I didn’t think there was quite enough of it! I like jam bars because the tartness of the fruit filling counters the sweetness of the cookie component. I also like the idea of the cream cheese filling, but it was barely noticeable. I will try these again soon with the changes and fill you in. I know you’ll be waiting by your computer constantly refreshing this site to read about the outcome of my recipe tampering. I’ll go ahead and tell you, I wouldn’t hold my breath. However, I promise to have it done in a weeks time! Here is the original recipe. Of course, any jam will do.
Apricot Cream Cheese Streusel Bars from More From Magnolia Cookbook
1 cup butter, slightly softened and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups all purpose flour
Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 pound cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup apricot jam
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, slightly softened cut in 1 inch pieces
Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl beat together butter and flour on medium speed until crumbly and well combined. Pat the mixture evenly and firmly into a 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Set aside.
Mix together the flour and powdered sugar. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
Spread the cream cheese filling on the cooled crust about 1/4 inch from the edges. Gently spread the jam over the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel over the entire top. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature before cutting.