Makes 4 dozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup strawberry preserves
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Fresh strawberry slices, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Add butter and, using a pastry blender, cut butter into the dry mixture until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared dish.
Bake until lightly browned, 20-22 minutes. Let cool.
To make the filling, in another medium bowl, add cream cheese and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat just until blended after each addition. Stir in fresh lemon juice and remaining 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, beating well.
Spread strawberry preserves over cooled crust. Pour cream cheese mixture over preserves, spreading to edges. Bake until set, 28-32 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and chill 4 to 8 hours. Cut into bars; garnish, if desired.
Sponsor: Harmons Neighborhood Grocer