Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Bars

Don't you love fresh strawberries? And they're absolutely delicious right now. If you're picking them yourself, the warmth of the sun makes them so sweet, you eat them as fast as you pick them, barely able to fill up your container. Once home, there are so many options for serving, from desserts to salads and salsas. Start with a simple dessert: dip them in dark brown sugar and sour cream...an old favorite of mine. Or try the recipe my MIL served frequently in the summer: Strawberries Romanoff.

With my last batch, I made certain I had enough strawberries left to make this bar....so many flavors to tempt your palate. The recipe was adapted from a Better Homes & Gardens 
raspberry bar recipe, and was the result of a trip to a California strawberry farm by Gerry from Foodness Gracious, where all sorts of strawberry recipe possibilities were explored. I hadn't seen the original raspberry bar recipe, so loved the idea of using goat cheese along with cream cheese. Gerry, besides substituting strawberries for raspberries, added some fresh basil to the cookie layer, which made the bars even more tasty. Rosemary would be even better. I've used that herb in my crusts quite often.
Super summer dessert.

Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Bars
From Foodness Gracious

Ingredients for the base:
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped finely

Ingredients for the filling:
3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved, quartered if big
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (I just used some high quality balsamic vinegar)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces chevre goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
Zest of two lemons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 13x9x2 baking pan with foil, leaving enough hanging over the sides to lift out after baking.
In a mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the brown sugar and salt and mix until combined. On low speed, add the flour and the basil. Mix just until the dough comes together.
Break the dough into clumps and spread over the base of the baking tray with your hands, making it as even as you can. Bake for about 20 mins or until just turning golden brown.

Prepare the strawberries:
Add the butter to a saute pan over medium heat. The add the strawberries, sugar and balsamic and toss to coat the fruit.
Cook for about 10-12 minutes and the mixture has turned thicker. Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and goat cheese together until soft. Add the white sugar and tablespoon of flour and mix well.
With the mixer running, add the egg, egg yolk, zest, lemon juice and vanilla.
Beat until smooth.
When the base has baked, drizzle most of the strawberry pan liquid over it. Pour the strawberries into the cheese mixture and gently fold once or twice. Not too much as you want it to look marbled.
Pour the whole mixture over the base evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes and set in the middle. Let cool for at least one hour before storing in the fridge for another hour. Slice into squares with a sharp knife and dust well with powdered sugar.


  1. Oh Barbara, this recipe sounds just perfect. Marion and I are going Strawberry picking this week (well we're gonna try anyway:) I think I'll get lots more just to try this recipe. Strawberries, Goat Cheese, heavenly!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  2. Very original! Those bars must be really delicious. Aaahhh, strawberry picking...



  3. What an intriguing mix of flavors! The goat cheese, basil and balsamic sound like they work together beautifully with the berries. Strawberry season is so short, and I always feel like we have to make the most of it.

  4. Balsamic, goat cheese and strawberries...a great flavour combo! These bars look divine!

  5. Great idea, might also work with raspberries.

  6. This recipe reminds me of the verrine (inspired by YOU) a summer or two ago. Now I need to make these!

  7. Ahhh, strawberry season! We're not quite there yet, but soon...

  8. These sound so tasty. Can't wait to try them.

    We're having a party at Tumbleweed Contessa and I'd love for you to link these to What'd You Do This Weekend? http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/whatd-you-do-this-weekend-20/

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda@Tumbleweed Contessa

  9. Strawberries and goat cheese are the perfect combination. These look fab!!


  10. i love strawberries....i would take fruit over chocolate any day....esp berries....this is a new one on me though...will def have to try it...smiles.

  11. Oh my goodness Barbara, this recipe sounds amazing!!! I am sure that when and if I try it, I will have zero willpower and eat the entire batch all by myself :) Now, how's that for self-control?
    I hope all is great with you. Things in Idaho are good and the summer is going much too fast.
    sending hugs...

  12. Dear Barbara,

    Yes, you can't beat picking your own strawberries and tempting to put a few in your mouth, while you pick.
    The recipe sounds delicious - I will have to wait until about December for strawberry season.

    Happy week

  13. These are a dessert to be reckoned with! The strawberry/goat cheese/balsamic combo is just amazing. Gets me every time.

  14. nothing seems to go with balsamic quite as well as strawberries. these are very complex and inventive bars, barbara! all they lack is some rhubarb. :)

  15. This sounds like such a great mix of flavors! Goat cheese and cream cheese are so good together, and those balsamic strawberries sound fantastic.

  16. Sweet with tangy and cheesy, what's not to love-they sound awesome.

  17. I usually don't give goat cheese recipes a second look as it isn't a favorite of mine, however, mixed with cream cheese and strawberries, the fresh basil, oh my, they sound wonderful, Barbara!

  18. O MY !!!,
    I think I need to eat those.They look so pretty too.Thank you for sharing the recipe.Yummy.\wonderful post.
    Happy Days,
    Marie Antoinette

  19. Yes, I love strawberries and these bars with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar sounds great Barbara.
    Thanks for this great Summer dessert and have a lovely week :D

  20. Good heavens! I would have never put sweet and savory together like this, but upon seeing the ingredients, YES! I can taste it! I love goat cheese and the tartness would be tamed with the strawberries...but then add the rosemary? YES INDEED! Now I have to scroll down to see the rice pudding with RASPBERRIES!

    Barbara, thank you so much for coming in to visit with me! My writing class started last night and it is a joy to be involved with such a wonderful group of poetry lovers.

    I know at some point, the class will have a snack night, so maybe I can snatch this recipe for the occassion and wow the group!

    Have a wonderful day, Anita

  21. Muy rica su combinación me encanta la idea,hugs.

  22. I love strawberries too! These bars must be filled with bold flavors!

  23. Hi Barbara--I hadn't thought of Strawberries Romanoff in a long long time--such an "of-a-time" treat--but really good. I think I'd like your strawberry-balsamic-goat cheese bars better, especially with the tip for rosemary in the crust.

  24. I made them & they were fantasticly even.

    I Loved the fresh chopper basiil in the base too! They are superb & very appetizing too! X



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