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Strawberry blondies, some with strawberry buttercream.

High Altitude Strawberry Blondies with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Heather Smoke
Soft, moist and chewy strawberry blondies, with strawberry cream cheese frosting.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 37 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings20

Equipment

  • Electric Mixer (Stand or Hand-Held)

Ingredients
 

Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract, optional
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¾ cup freeze-dried strawberries (about 1/2 oz or 17 grams), chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries, finely crushed (1 1/2 tbsp crushed)
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 2 tsp meringue powder, optional
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Cookie Bars

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
    Line a 9x13 baking sheet with a piece of parchment/baking paper and snip the corners so the paper fits down into the pan. Alternatively, you can use aluminum foil, and spray the foil thoroughly with non-stick spray.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a bowl and hand-held electric mixer), beat the softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and mix in the eggs, one at a time, just until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients and mix the dough on low, just until moistened, then stir in the chopped freeze dried strawberries. The dough will be very thick.
  • Pile the dough into the prepared pan. Since the dough is so thick and sticky, it can be a little tricky to spread it out. The best way is to butter your hands or a spatula and just push the dough out to the edges of the pan as evenly as you can.
  • Bake the cookie bars on the center oven rack for about 20-22 minutes, just until the edges are set and every so slightly browned, but the center still looks a little underdone. Be careful not to over-bake these bars, or they will end up dry. They will continue to bake and set in the hot pan after you take them out of the oven. It's normal for the center of the bars to settle and sink down a little as it cools.
  • Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the powdered sugar, crushed freeze dried strawberries, salt, meringue powder and vanilla. Beat for several minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Lift the cooled bars out of the pan by the paper, peel the paper off, and set the bars on a cutting board.
  • Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled bars.

Notes

Leftover strawberry blondies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrapped well and frozen for 3-6 months.
Keyword Blondies, Cookie Bars, Cream Cheese, Strawberry
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