Frozen White Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars with Blackberry Swirl

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Remember when I said that I was playing around with some new recipes this past Sunday?  Well, let me introduce to you the newest recipe that I am adding to my (quite extensive) dessert caché, Frozen White Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars with Blackberry Swirl.

I call these "Frozen" because they really need to be served almost right from the freezer.  Otherwise they will become too soft.  The combination of chocolate wafers, white chocolate and cream cheese lend a flavor profile that will have your tastebuds thinking about that classic, four-letter sandwich cookie. You know, the one you either twist to eat the filling or dip in milk to eat.

The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of blackberry purée.  I don't know about you, but that is not something that I keep on hand.  Blackberries in the garden or store? Yes.  Blackberry purée in the fridge? No.  So, I adapted the recipe to make up for that.  If you are wondering about using blackberry jam, I wouldn't recommend in doing so.  It would make the bars overly sweet.  

They are beautiful to serve on a plate garnished with fresh berries and mint leaves (I used chocolate mint from my garden) or you could do as my husband does and just open the freezer drawer, pick one up and eat it out of your hand.  Either way, you will enjoy them.  Happy cooking!

Frozen White Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars with Blackberry Swirl
makes 16 bars

For the Blackberry Purée
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the Crust
34 (about 71/2-ounces fro a 9-ounce package) chocolate wafer cookies, broken
1/4 packed light brown sugar
6 Tablespoons (3-ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces white chocolate (not morsels), finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon vegetable shortening
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Fresh blackberries
Fresh mint leaves 

For the Blackberry Purée
In a small saucepan, heat the berries, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries have softened and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the berry mixture to a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  Using the back of a spoon or ladle, press on the berries to extract as much juice as possible. (You should have about 1/4 cup).  Purée can be made, covered, and refrigerated one day in advance.

For the Crust
Line a 9 x 9-inch square pan with two (9-inch) sheets of parchment paper (overlapping perpendicularly), letting excess extend over sides of the pan; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies, light brown sugar and butter until it resembles wet sand.  Press the crumb mixture, evenly, onto the bottom of the prepared pan.  Freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes.

For The Cream Cheese Filling
In a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water), melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally, until smooth; set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the ream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, zest and salt at medium-low speed until smooth.  Gradually beat in the melted chocolate. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

Wipe the mixing bowl clean and return to the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat the cream and sugar at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.  Using a wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold in one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture; fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing top with an off-set spatula.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of purée mixture onto the filling and gently tilt the pan to evenly spread the purée. Dollop the remaining filling on top of the purée and gently spread in a even layer using an off-set spatula. Dollop remaining 2 tablespoons of purée on top of filling.  Using a wooden picker edge of a clean knife, gently swirl purée and filling together.  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.  To serve, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan to a cutting board.  Using a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry each time you cut, cut into 16 bars.  Garnish with fresh blackberries and mint, if desired.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from southernladymagazine.com


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