Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

I really love how much my boys love to spend time making things in the kitchen.  My oldest especially loves cooking and creating recipes.  See him in action HERE.  Last week he was in our cold storage for some reason and came out with a jar of raspberry preserves that I canned last summer.  He was insistent on wanting to make cookies with the preserves, so I looked up a recipe HERE and found THIS.   I am so glad that my little man had this idea because now I’m craving these bars again.  They’re not good for my diet so after making them we each had one. . . ok, actually three for me, and then we gave the rest away to neighbors.  Kind deed makes me feel good.  Not eating an entire tray of these (which I’m certain I would have) makes me feel good.  Win. Win.

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Oh, and don’t you love the pineapple cup.  He also insisted that he needed to drink lemonade in this while eating ‘his’ creation.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

11 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

18 oz. red raspberry preserves ***

1/3 cup chopped slivered almonds (I used walnuts)

(*** I used a pint of canned raspberry preserves, and drained most of the excess liquid out, but easily could have used a quart)

In your stand mixer cream the butter and brown sugar together.  In a separate bowl stir together the oats, flour, soda, and salt and then add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix.  Take a fourth of the mixture out and save for later.  Press the remaining three fourths into a 9×13 pan to cover the bottom and bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes.  The edges should just be slightly browning when you remove the pan.

While the ‘crust’ is cooking rinse out your stand mixer bowl and beat the cream cheese and sugar together and add in the eggs and vanilla.  Once the crust is done cooking spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust and spread to cover completely.  Spoon the preserves on top as evenly as possible.  Use a knife to swirl the preserves around so that it spreads over the entire surface with out breaking into the crust.  (Mine made a cool marble-like design on it)  Add almonds or other nut to the saved portion of flour mixture and sprinkle on the top of the preserves.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  The edges will be golden brown.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Store in the refrigerator when done.

Mmmmmm

Happy Baking!

Jello-Pretzel Salad

This is one of those recipes that you just have to love.  Everybody loves it! Everybody takes seconds, and you never regret making more than you need.  I make this once or twice a
year for a holiday or to impress company.:)

Jello-Pretzel Salad
(Thank you for the recipe Grandma Long)

Step 1-Crust:
1 cup finely crushed pretzels (about 4 cups whole pretzels put into a ziploc bag and beaten/rolled with a rolling pin)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

Stir together and then press crust into a 9×13 pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I stab it with a fork all over a little while after taking out of the oven so that the crust doesn’t get too stiff. Cool completely.

Step 2 (while crust is baking) – Jello mixture
1 large (serves 8 ) raspberry jello mix
2 cups boiling water 1 cup cold water
1 pkg. frozen raspberries

Whisk the jello packet into the boiling water until dissolved and then add the cold water and raspberries. Stir and then put in fridge until somewhat jelled (about 30 minutes). If it doesn’t seem to be jelling fast enough for you then put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes for a quick jell.

Step 3 (while jello cools) – Filling
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz. cool whip

Mix and then smooth over the cooled crust. Spread the partially jelled jello on top of the cream cheese filling layer. Chill completely set.

Note: Strawberry Jello and frozen strawberries are also delicious!