Strawberry Shortcake Ice Box Bars

These ice box bars can be made a month in advanced and stored in the freezer. Allow them to defrost for a day in the refrigerator before you top your bars with whipped cream and strawberries.

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  • Makes: 16 servings
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Bake: 40 mins 375°
  • Chill: 1 hr 30 mins plus overnight
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Strawberry Shortcake Ice Box Bars
Ingredients Strawberry Sauce
4
cups strawberries, cut up
3/4
cup sugar
1
tablespoon cornstarch
1
tablespoon lemon juice
2
tablespoons butter, cut up
Cookies
2/3
cup shortening
1 1/2
cups sugar
2
teaspoons baking powder
1/8
teaspoon salt
2
eggs
2
teaspoons vanilla
3/4
cup whipping cream
1
tablespoon sugar
For Serving:
3/4
cup whipping cream
1
tablespoon sugar
3
cups strawberries, sliced
Directions
    Strawberry Sauce
  1. For Strawberry Sauce, in a blender container, puree 4 cups strawberries until smooth.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in pureed strawberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and butter. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Cookies:
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For cookies, in a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, lemon peel, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Split dough into fourths.
  5. Grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper; evenly pat in a quarter of the dough. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool in pan on wire rack, 1 minute. Turn out onto a wire rack; remove parchment and cool completely. As soon as pan is cool, repeat to make two more layers. For the fourth layer, line pan with enough parchment to extend up two of the pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool final layer of cookie in pan on wire rack.
  6. Assemble
  7. In a chilled large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form; set aside.
  8. Spoon half of the strawberry sauce on sugar cookie in pan. Add another cookie layer, half of the whipped cream and 2 cups of the sliced strawberries. Add another cookie, remaining berry sauce, and remaining cookie. If necessary, gently press cookie layers down. Cover and chill cookie bars and remaining whipped cream overnight.
  9. To serve:
  10. In a chilled large mixing bowl, beat whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
  11. Using the parchment paper, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into pieces. Top with whipped cream and remaining strawberries before serving.
From the Test Kitchen
Make Ahead:

When preparing "lasagna" whip only 3/4 cup cream with 1 tablespoon sugar. Assemble and freeze overnight. Lift from pan and transfer to freezer storage container. Cover and freeze up to 1 month. To serve, let thaw overnight in refrigerator. If still icy, let stand at room temperature up to 1 hour. Whip remaining 3/4 cup cream with 1 tablespoon sugar; spoon atop dessert with fresh berries.

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