Friday, April 15, 2011

This Dessert Is A Winner ... Really!

I made a dessert for a church potluck last Sunday. At the time, I didn't know I was serving a national award winner.

I made Ann Brubaker's Double Berry Cheesecake Bars for a supper to honor our graduating seniors and eighth graders. I had seen a feature in The Pratt Tribune in February about her entry in the Martha White contest and had printed the recipe and purchased the muffin mixes to try it out.

Ann is the wife of my classmate, Kent Brubaker. I went online to vote for her recipe, which was one of eight finalists. I just know it was my vote that pushed her over the edge. (And maybe a few more from other loyal Skyline High graduates or Sawyer, Kansas, buddies.)

I should have checked The Tribune before I went to the potluck so I'd know she won! Still, I didn't need to tell people it was a national award winner for them to dig in. Much to Randy's dismay, we only came home with one bar left.

It would be a perfect dessert to serve for Easter. Maybe Randy will get another chance at this dessert on Easter Sunday.

Double Berry Cheesecake Bars
2 7-oz. pkgs. Martha White Strawberry Muffin Mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg

2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. almond extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup seedless red raspberry jam

Garnish (Optional):
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
2/3 cup seedless red raspberry jam

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom of 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Beat muffin mix, butter and 1 egg in large bowl until dough forms. Press lightly in bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese and sour cream in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, flour and almond extract. Beat until blended. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. Pour filling over crust.

Drop 2/3 cup raspberry jam by spoonfuls randomly over filling. For swirl effect, pull knife through batter in wide curves. Turn pan and repeat. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set and edges are light golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Chill 1 hour before serving. Cut into bars.

If desired, just before serving, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon a small dollop of the remaining 2/3 cup raspberry jam on each bar. Spread jam into a small circle. Pipe a small rosette of whipped cream on each serving.

Store bars in refrigerator.


This is how the bars looked after baking.

I took the easy way out on garnishing. I used Cool Whip and put it in a decorator tube. Then I piped a rosette on each bar. (You could simplify further and use the topping in a can.) If fresh raspberries were in season, putting one on top of the whipped topping would be a beautiful garnish.

I couldn't find seedless raspberry jam. The seeded kind was tasty, though some people would probably prefer the smoother texture. Randy said it was good anyway.

Recipes from the other finalists can be found on the Martha White website. I just may have to try some of them, too.


  1. This looks amazing!
    I'm a new follower! :) I look forward to reading about your farm life!

  2. Glad to have you visit! Hope you'll stop by the County Line often! I enjoyed glancing at your blog this AM and will go back and take my time (I loved the Marli can I sit with you post!) And we have raccoons stealing catfood around here, too.