Over the years, if you have followed my recipes you know I have to add a rhubarb recipe at least once during the spring or summer! I love it and it is a staple on almost every farm in the mid-west! Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars are really rich in flavors, so my suggestion is to cut the bars in small pieces, I had to leave mine and come back later to finish it. Unless you have a sweet tooth, then you will be just fine!
Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1 cup butter, chilled
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 (3oz) pkg. strawberry jello
2 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond favoring
Preheat oven to 350°. In mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine flour, brown sugar and pecans on low speed. Add cut butter and mix on low until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Pour half the mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9x13in pan. Press down to create the crust. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until it just starts to turn golden on the edges.
Filling: In a medium–sized bowl, coat the rhubarb with the jello and ½ cup of the sugar. For the cream cheese mixture; use the same bowl as the crust, pouring the reserved half of the crust into another, smaller bowl. In the mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment, combine room temperature cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond flavoring. 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 (the cheese mixture is soft so you won’t be able to do a lot of spreading). Top with remaining crust mixture. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes. Until the edges are brown and bubbling, and the center is still wiggles when you shake it. Cool on wire rack for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.
– If you want to substitute fresh strawberries for the jello, take out the jello, decrease the rhubarb to 3 cups, add 1-2 cups of chopped fresh strawberries, and add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch in place of the jello. Coat the rhubarb/strawberry mixture with the cornstarch and sugar before layering it on.