Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Really <3 Hebrew School Teachers

Last week, I baked some amazing chocolate cookies for our Hebrew School teachers. They really are amazing people who put up with some crazy stuff in their classrooms.

I do like to lot. The teachers seem to be willing guinea pigs for my baking experiments.

So I just whipped these up for our teachers:

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
adapted from the King Arthur Cookie Companion (which is seriously one of my favorite cookbooks)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter

2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. Make the crust: mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and butter. I mixed with my hands. Do not lose your rings by leaving them on the counter and sweeping them off into the sink. I'm just reminding you in case you might ever think to do something like this. Press into the bottom of the pan. If it's not smooth, spread some plastic wrap over the top and even it out with your hands or a small rolling pin (can of beans, BPA free please, works well.) Bake 12-15 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes or until you're done making the filling

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Correct Spanish homework while beating. Oh wait, that was just me. Gently beat in the vanilla and eggs. Spread over the crust. I used an offset spatula to make it all smooth and pretty.

Put the jam into a ziptop bag and squish it around to make it really spreadable. Snip off one corner and pipe lines of jam the length of the pan, I did three lines. Then use a knife to pull the jam from side to side through the cream cheese mixture to make a cool swirly effect. This was the reason I made the recipe, because I thought it looked so cool in the book. Hold up children who want to see what Ima's doing.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the filling is set. Middle will wobble slightly. Remove from oven, run a spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen and keep from cracking. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled and firm. Then hide the whole pan away because you'll want to eat it all.


Thanks to my dad for the photography:-)
This is what works for me this Wednesday...see what works for other people...


Robin said...

This looks amazing! I'll have to try it - soon.

Leigh Ann said...

Clearly, you are the best Hebrew school Ima ever.

I would like some strawberry cheesecake bars. Can we start an Imas' appreciation club where we send each other baked goods and notes about how fabulous we all are?

I would bake something from a box, but I promise I would add lots of love. :)

Rivster said...

Yes, yes -- that is great idea. I could totally use the positive reinforcement ;)