Monday, August 12, 2013

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars {Recipe}

Rhubarb season is wrapping up in my backyard this week. Getting the last of the good stalks. I thought I'd try a cream cheese rhubarb bar after seeing the recipe for one on another Minnesotan's baking blog, A Farmgirl's Dabbles. These are super, duper good. And not really all that much work.

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

*Note: If you wanted to substitute fresh strawberries for the jello, I would take out the jello, decrease the rhubarb to 3 cups, add 1-2 cups of chopped fresh strawberries, and add 3 Tbsp. of corn starch in place of the jello. Coat the rhubarb-strawberry mixture with the corn starch and the sugar before layering it on.

Yield: 24-30 bars

Click here for the printable version of this recipe.

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 9x13" 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!

Click the Links Below to See:
Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars Recipe
Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce Recipe
Strawberry-Rhubarb Hand Pies Recipe
Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

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56 comments:

  1. OOOH I may have to steal this recipe it looks so good!! Can almost taste it. I love rhubarb! Great recipe xxx

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  2. Great recipe, Thank you !!! Made strawberry rhubarb bars for two events this past week , bars were an enormous hit!

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  3. Looks amazing! Do you know if it freezes well?

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  4. I am sorry, I have not tried to freeze them.

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  5. Can I use frozen rhubarb ??

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    Replies
    1. I used frozen, thawed rhubarb and needed to bake for 65 minutes (20 Xtra). Next time I will drain most or all liquid of thawed rhubarb before making this recipe.

      Delete
  6. Absolutely! Frozen Rhubarb works perfectly.
    - Beki

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  7. I don't understand the reference that the cream cheese mixture is the same as you used for the crust!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bowl is the same, not the mixture.
      Hope that clears it up.
      - Beki

      Delete
  8. Today I cut the recipe in half and used fresh strawberries and organic corn starch. I need to save this recipe because it is DELICIOUS!!

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  9. I made this recipe today but cut it in half, using fresh strawberries and organic corn starch. OMG! It is delicious and I will definitely make it again!

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  10. We don't do jello what do you suggest for a substitute?

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    Replies
    1. Read the recipe, it tells you what to replace the jello with.

      Delete
    2. If you don't want to use jello, you can use fresh strawberries and corn starch. You will notice the amounts listed under the list of ingredients.
      Enjoy!
      - Beki

      Delete
  11. I do something similar to this. I took my rhubarb crumble recipe. Laid down the bottom and the rhubarb first. Then took a pkg of cream cheese and beat it up and added sugar and vanilla and two eggs. with a large spoon plopped mixture on top of rhubarb and then the rest of the crumble. Bake till golden at 350' It is the greatest combo!

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  12. OMG . I love rhubarb. This looks sooo good.
    Thanks a million for the recipe.

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  13. Really good, but forget the parchment paper and just spray pan with non-stick cooking spray!

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  14. Is it possible to use fresh raspberries instead of strawberries??

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  15. I'm sure raspberries would work just fine, though you may not need as much corn starch.
    If you try them, let me know how it turns out!

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  16. What do you think I could substitute for the pecans? We can't do nuts at our house but these look so divine!

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    Replies
    1. If you leave out the nuts, I'd say add more flour, or you could try toasted oats, as well.
      Enjoy!
      -Beki

      Delete
    2. I added 1/2 a cup more flour and 1/2 cup of white sugar. It turned out great.

      Delete
  17. If I could pin it to Pinterest I would save it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here ya go!
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/282741682834853835/
      - Beki

      Delete
  18. What about the liquid from frozen rhubarb? Do you drain it or add a touch of cornstarch to thicken it?

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    Replies
    1. You should not thaw the Frozen fruit, use frozen and increase baking time by about 15min. It works perfectly and you don't lose the flavor by losing the juice. Same goes for apples,berries etc.

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  19. If you're using the Jell-o, there's enough gelatin to thicken it. If you're using the fresh strawberries, the extra corn starch you add should also be enough. If you're worried about it, you can always add more.
    Enjoy!
    - Beki

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  20. I just finished these and they look amazing. I wish I could share a picture. Looks slightly different than your pictures. I made them as a substitute for cake for my husband's birthday tomorrow. He's going to love them. I omitted the Jello and used strawberries and cornstarch instead. It was quite liquidy but it seemed to be okay. I cooked it for about 50 mins though.
    Thanks for posting this recipe and thank you for your pictures. They really helped!

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  21. I assume you're using a 9"x13" pan? I'd love a printable recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have created a printable version here:
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wyj8NY8ITvvEJP5T2vl6SldD2h3tItt8se482vVFP_8/edit?usp=sharing

      Delete
  22. Yes, 9x13". I will see if I can get a printable version ready. Thanks for the suggestion.
    - Beki

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  23. I made these for a family get-together, and they were a HUGE hit! I used fresh strawberries and cornstarch instead of Jello, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Everyone wants the recipe, but they aren't all FB users, so a printable version would be wonderful. Thank you so much for this yummy recipe!

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  24. I made these using the jello, and they were awesome! Next time I'll try it with fresh strawberries. A new favorite for our family!

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  25. Do u add the water to the jello

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  26. Replies
    1. I have never tried it, so I can't give you a clear yes or no on that. I'm sorry.
      - Beki

      Delete
  27. I bought raspberries to put in this instead of strawberries and they were eaten before I could make it so I subbed in raspberry jello for the strawberry jello. YUM! I am hoping to make this for the 4th of July but using a mix of fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) in place of the jello.

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  28. nut allergy at my house...what kind of crust do you recommend then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try this one:
      http://bekicookscakesblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/strawberry-rhubarb-bars.html?m=1

      Good luck.

      Delete
  29. Absolutely amazing my new favorite

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  30. My new favorite absolutely amazing

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  31. Where is the print-friendly version?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find the printable version here:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byky2FbOBEISU1JjOVJLM1hzc2s/view?usp=sharing
      Enjoy!
      - Beki

      Delete
  32. Would it work to use an envelope of unflavored gelatin w the fresh strawberries & rhubarb instead of the cornstarch? As, don't like the taste of cornstarch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried that. I would first try coating the strawberries with 2 Tbsp of flour before I'd try gelatin.
      Good luck!
      - Beki

      Delete
    2. Beki,

      Can the rhubarb /strawberry mixture be cooked down first then pour over cream mixture and add the remaining top crumb mixture and bake, suppose the bake time would decrease ??

      Delete
    3. Cheryl, I do not believe that would affect the cooking time much. The cheesecake filling still needs to bake until not jiggly.
      Beki

      Delete
  33. Beki,

    Can the rhubarb/ strawberry mixture be cooked down first then pour over cream mixture & crumble crust then bake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl,
      I'm sure that would be fine. I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't.
      Beki

      Delete
  34. Thank you for such a delicious recipe! I didn't have any pecans on hand, so I used oatmeal instead and it still turned out yummy.

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  35. Thank you! It's very yummy recipe. I used walnuts and fresh strawberries. It's a keeper.

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  36. Making this now. Sounds scrumptious. I presume you cool the bottom crust before putting the cream cheese mixture on?

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    Replies
    1. Nope. No cooling required.
      - Beki

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    2. Can I double this and put in 12x17x1 pan?

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    3. I imagine you could, though i never have done that. I'd say turn the oven down by 25-degrees and bake at least 10-20 minutes longer to get the middle baked well enough.
      -Beki

      Delete

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