Saturday, April 23, 2011

Afternoon Delights

It's a bit of a funny story of how these yummies got their name. I had a hard time coming up with what to call these, so after I baked up a batch, I had the guys and dolls at the office have a tray full and give it a go by midafternoon, one of the ladies came up with "Afternoon Delights". I have to give my buddy, we'll call him Tim, a pat on the back for his suggestion for coming in a close second. Not only did he offer a name which is rated M for Mature, but he also gave it a little dance that was somewhat a cross between the Running Man and the Boot Scootin' Boogy. Good times we have. Good times.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've had that song stuck in my head for a week now. Unlike the music, these will not be a one-hit-wonder!! You'll wanna make Afternoon Delights again and again. Thank you Starland Vocal Band for giving us your one of a kind tuneage!

These have an easy sugar cookie base that's perfectly baked and topped with a Texas two-step of sorts using a velvety white chocolate cream cheese and a fresh strawberry jam. They cut perfectly into squares and are best served cold. Admittedly, my first round got a little soggy 'cause I let 'em stay out too long.

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
10 drops red food color, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. Press cookie dough evenly on the bottom of the pan making a slight edge up the side. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted and can be stirred smooth. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in melted chips until blended. Spread mixture over crust. Refrigerate while making topping.

In small bowl, crush 1 cup of strawberries. In saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stir in crushed strawberries and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in food color. (Food color is totally optional here. It gives the jam a nice blanket of color.)

Cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in remaining 3 cups strawberries. Spoon topping over white chocolate cream cheese. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set; serve cold. Store covered in refrigerator.

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