Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dangerously Delicious Peaches & Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

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I love to bake.  I have been baking since I was a young girl.  Birthday cakes, cookies, you name it.  Some of the goodies that stand out in my memory include: 

The white double layer birthday cake I made in 1976 for our Dad's 36th birthday.  I put the candles on it and one of my sister's lit them.  The four of us kids pulled him into the kitchen and sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  Then Dad, always trying to be the fun parent, promptly cut the cake into five equal pieces and we ate it for dinner.  For the record, our Mom is equally fun but she never let us eat a whole cake for dinner. 

This picture isn't from 1976, but it is me and Dad on his 28th birthday.  Mom made that cake.  Note that the six of us that day only consumed half of the cake.  Mom had the portion control in check. 
The Hardscrabble Home

Moving onto another standout moment in my baking history.  This time it was a double chocolate cake.  It was gorgeous, too.  It was in 1982 and I was a teenager.  My beautiful and delicious cake was in the refrigerator.  My boyfriend Troy came over with our friend Dave.  He opened up the fridge, spotted the cake, called out, "Dave, look!  CAKE!!".  Then promptly stuck his finger into the middle of my beautifully decorated and untouched cake.  Troy is now my wonderful husband.  Each time I bake a cake I remind him of that time.

Moving ahead to 2007.  My youngest son Matthew is about ready to turn 6.  I ask him, "What kind of birthday cake do you want Mommy to make you?"  I am expecting to hear Spiderman, Batman or some other boy type of cake.  I wasn't expecting the following out of him.  This is what he said:

Matthew:  "I want a cake with President Bush's face on it.  I want "Hail to the Chief" playing and I want to hand out flags to everyone at my party."  

Hhmmm.   So, we did.  I made a cake with President Bush's face on it.  We played "Hail to the Chief".  He handed out flags AND they colored pictures of the President.  It was a fun party!  My very own little Alex P. Keaton.  

My very much a Democrat father refused a piece of cake.  He did take a flag and we sent him home with a wooden Democratic Donkey folk art piece.  That was his reward for biting his tongue throughout the whole party.  After all, Matthew's middle name is David, which was Dad's first name.  He indulged his namesake as long as he could but drew the line at eating the cake. 

Here is a picture of the cake.  It was my first and last attempt at putting a face of someone on a cake.  Barbara Bush liked it!!  We sent her a letter and pictures of her son's face on my son's 6th birthday cake.  We sent her the letter AFTER we had sent them to the White House and received no response.  I KNEW that SHE being a mother would respond and she did.  She replied with two very sweet letters to me and Matthew. 
The Hardscrabble Home
Please remember Matthew in the future when he runs for President.  He would appreciate your vote. 

Now, let's travel to 2013.  It's last week and I was trying to figure out what to bake.  I knew I had some store bought sugar cookie dough in the fridge to use up.  (I know Store bought That's not like me, but I only buy it at Christmas to make Matthew's Mint Surprise Cookies which I never did make at Christmas.)  I also had cream cheese on hand and some peaches.

I had bought the peaches thinking I would make Peaches & Cream Cheese Cake, but instead decided to adapt that recipe to a cookie bar instead.  BIG MISTAKE!!!  Not really.  It was delicious.  DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS as the title of this post says.  Dangerously delicious because I had counted on this wonderful treat to last us more than just TWO DAYS!!  Yep, we devoured them in 2 days.  We hang our heads in shame.  

Here's what you need to gather together to make this recipe:  one super large roll of sugar cookie dough (or two regular sized ones), one 8 oz. bar of cream cheese, one egg, two cans of 15.25 oz peaches, 1/3 cup sugar, plus cinnamon and more sugar mixed.

Take your standard size cookie sheet and roll or pat out 2/3 of the sugar cookie dough to form a crust covering the entire pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 egg.  Mix until combined.  

Drain peach slices and cut them into bite size pieces.  You won't need the juice. 

In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.  I just throw that part together.  I don't measure.  You can also buy the sugar and cinnamon already mixed but really, why would you?  

Take your crust and spread  your cream cheese mixture over the top.  I like to use my angled icing spatula for this part.  Now arrange your peaches over the top of the cream cheese layer.  Once that is done, take little pieces of your remaining sugar cookie dough and drop them sporadically over the peaches.  It won't cover it completely.  Finally, sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over the entire top. Here it is before baking.

Pop it back into your 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Here it is after baking.
Let it cool completely, then cut into squares and store in refrigerator.  I made another batch last night which is when I snapped these wonderfully professional looking photos with my phone.  I threw half of this batch into the freezer.  I know I could hardly keep from laughing when I typed that.  How long do YOU think they'll last in there?  Yep.  Me, too.  Barely long enough to freeze thoroughly.  (If I'm being honest, and I am always honest, I actually took one out of the freezer container last night so my husband wouldn't look at the container in the fridge and ask, "Who is eating all of these?"  Don't tell him, ok?)
There you go!  Here's the recipe in it's entirety.  I still haven't figured out the whole set it up so you can print it option on this blog.   I hope you try this simple and delicious recipe.  It makes a lot of servings so it would be perfect to take to a potluck or big gathering.  Or you can just be pigs about it and let your own family eat it all in two days like mine did.  

Peaches & Cream Cheese Cookie Bars
by The Hardscrabble Home

1 Large or 2 Regular Sized Rolls of Sugar Cookie Dough
1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 (15.25 oz.) Cans Peach Slices, Drained
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll 2/3 of dough out as crust on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  

In a medium size bowl, mix together cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 egg until blended thoroughly.  Spread over baked crust.  Dice peaches and arrange over cream cheese mixture.  Drop blobs of remaining cookie dough over peaches.  Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar mixture over entire cookie sheet.  Return to 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool, cut into slices and store in refrigerator.

While cookies are cooling, go through cookbooks and figure out what you will bake in two days when these are all gone.

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