Gooey Strawberries & Cream Bars

There are few things on which we here at Fleur-de-Licious would consider ourselves experts.  If you read regularly, you know very well that one of them is macaroni and cheese.  Specifically, the eating of macaroni and cheese.  Another thing would be not grocery shopping responsibly.  Unless it is a Kale Only Week in which case…we still shop irresponsibly, and we only buy kale.  And then end up returning for popcorn.
One actual real-life thing we are kind of good at: long-distance relationships.  At least, I think we’re kind of good because we’re both 4+ years in and are not miserable.  Kate can correct me if I’m wrong, but seeing as The Accountant recently took her to The French Laundry, I believe she is the opposite of miserable.

Anyways.  What I won’t do is give you advice on these things because most of you probs aren’t even in long distance relationship and probs don’t care.  Let’s talk about some not cool things and some cool things that come with the territory.

Not cool things:

  1. Me and the Weatherman aren’t in the same place.  Duh.  Not cool in and of itself.
  2. Text messages are basically the worst means of communicating tone of voice EVER.  If someone is in a less than stellar mood, and one half says, “I’ll call you later,” and the other half says, “k”…oh boy.  That one simple letter.  “Why aren’t you more excited to talk to me!??!?!  What do you mean k?!?!?!”
    a) this is a slight exaggeration.  mmm.  slight.
  3. I have no reason to look presentable on a day to day basis.  Why would I wash my hair if I could just wear a headband?  (Sorry med school friends.)  Perfume?  What is that?
  4. Likewise, the Weatherman’s apartment has no reason to look presentable.  Although I’m fairly certain that this affects no one, because only boys go over there to do boy things like play video games and a messy apartment has NEVER inhibited boy activities.
  5. No boy living in my apartment is awesome (if I buy a bag of chips it lasts for more than 2 days) and awful.
    a) Who is supposed to kill any bugs?  Clearly not this lady.
    b) Who is supposed to eat all the stuff I bake? Med school friends sometimes don’t pull through in this respect.
    c) Sometimes I have to reach stuff in the super high cabinets.  And in these cases I usually just do without whatever
    is in the super high cabinets.
  6. There is no one to share a stuffed crust pizza with when that need strikes.  I have just one ounce too much self-pride to order one alone, so the stuffed crust need has gone unfulfilled for a very long time.

Cool things:

  1. Every time we see each other, there is at least the potential for a super-romantic movie style reunion.  Except for that one time in Paris when the Weatherman tapped me on the shoulder at a train station and the first words out of my mouth were “I’M SO HUNGRY.”
  2. See number 3 above.
  3. On days off, I can pinterest.  All.day.long.
  4. Oh!  Oh!  The whole bed.  All of it – all the covers, all the random middle-of-the-night undiscovered cool spots.  MINE.
  5. I get to have a desk in my room – an entire desk – all full of makeup.  For the sole purpose of putting on makeup.  Which, according to Not-cool-#3, I apparently never use.  …but I still get to have it.

Now.  Let’s be real here.  The preferable situation would certainly be a short distance relationship.  Or actually a no distance relationship.  But until then…I have that cool list.

All right.  Enough non-food talk.  Let’s make some bars.  They have cake, strawberries, cream cheese…and are ooey and gooey and fabulous.   Oh!  And I added sprinkles because they were for a birthday 🙂

Gooey Strawberries and Cream Bars

Makes 16 bars from one 9×9 inch pan

Ingredients
6 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sour cream (I used full-fat)
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 TBS cornstarch
3/8 tsp salt
3/8 tsp baking soda

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup roughly chopped strawberries

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until incorporated.
4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Pour the batter in the prepared pan and spread evenly.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese on high speed about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, then beat on high speed until fluffy.  Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.  Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the batter in the pan.  Bake until set around the edges and barely set in the middle, about 28-35 mins.  Let cake cool entirely in pan on a wire rack.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen in the Rockies

Thanks for reading, happy baking!

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6 comments

  1. I loved this post! I’m another lady doing the long-distance thing and can relate to everything (except I’m slowly learning to ignore that little bit of pride telling me not to do things like order a stuffed crust pizza by myself…) The bars look delicious! I’d bake them but I think my over-fed colleagues in the office may have had enough baked goods for a little while… Love the blog! First time commenting, definitely not the first time on here 🙂

  2. Mmmmmm. Strawberries.

    And as a fellow 4+ years long-distance relationship member, it is so so nice when it ends. I am very very grateful that we have been in the same place for 8 years now. The only thing better than having the whoooole bed to yourself is having someone to spoon with while you hit snooze one more time.

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