Elderberry-Lemon Shortbread Bars
Elderberry-Lemon Shortbread Bars are a delicious three layer treat. The bottom layer of shortbread provides the buttery foil for the layer of jam above it, and the lemony cream cheese topping adds a bit of tart. These beautiful bars are wonderful served with afternoon tea or after a special dinner any time of the year. Make sure to plan ahead when making these bars, as they require time to chill after baking.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon lemon zest, divided
- ¾ cup cold butter
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1-9 oz jar of your favorite Norm's Farms jam
- Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberry slices and/or blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, powdered sugar and ½ tsp lemon zest in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or knife) until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 inch pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until just blended after each addition. Stir in fresh lemon juice and remaining ¼ tsp lemon zest, beating well.
- Spread jam over shortbread. Pour cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake 28 to 32 more minutes or until set. Let cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours.
- Cut the bars into single servings and garnish with fresh strawberries and/or blueberries. Add a small dollop of whipped cream on top, and arrange on a pretty plate to make a beautiful dessert worthy of any event.