American Way Dessert Bars

If you’re planning desserts to be served at your Memorial Day or 4th of July picnic, it’s only natural you’ll want to find something with red, white, and blue colored ingredients. Naturally, blueberries and strawberries immediately come to mind. Not only do they fit the bill color-wise, but they’re also in season.

When shopping for fresh blueberries and strawberries always be sure to turn the container they are packaged in over to ensure there are no bruised or molded fruit. Most berries will have a light white powder-like coating, also known as bloom on them when packaged. Bloom on berries is what seals the moisture into the berry so don’t worry about that.

  • 1/2 C of butter
  • 3/4 C graham crackers, crushed fine
  • 1/2 C of flour
  • 1/2 C of coconut, flaked
  • 1/2 C pecans, ground
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C + 2/3 C of sugar, divided
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T of milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 C of blueberries
  • 1 C strawberries, chopped

Set oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 13×9 inch baking pan with a non stick cooking spray.
Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and cooking the butter until it turns the color of light brown sugar.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Place the crushed graham crackers into a mixing bowl, add the flour, coconut and pecans to the crackers and toss to combine.
Stir in 1/4 C of the sugar until completely combined.
Pour the melted butter into the bowl and stir until completely combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom only of the prepared baking pan.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the crust and set aside to cool.
Place the cream cheese and remaining sugar into a mixing bowl, and beat the mixture on medium speed until it becomes smooth.
Add the eggs, milk and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until completely combined.
Spread the mixture evenly over the slightly cooled crust.
Sprinkle the blueberries and strawberries over the top.
Bake 18 minutes or until the center is set.
Remove and allow to slightly cool on a wire rack.
Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours then cut into bars before serving.
Makes 32 bars

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