No-Bake Strawberry Mascarpone Bars
Vermont? I really, really love you. I've only been there a couple of times, but I have to thank Vermont for all of the dairy they send down to us in NYC. Plus, as a displaced Coloradan, I've always thought of Vermont as the Eastern Colorado, we share similar hippie, outdoorsie tendencies, and I tend to like people from both places. So Vermont, I'd like to thank you for your creamy butters, your cabot cheese, your crème fraîche and your mascarpone.
In addition to my love affair with Vermont dairy, it's also strawberry season (frickin' finally!). So I think you can see where this is going. Actually, I made these for a friend who got me a job for next semester. See, if you get Andrea jobs, you get delicious treats. This is my employment game-plan for the foreseeable future. I think it's a good one, and so far it's working out pretty well.
The beauty of these is that they're no-bake, so you're not going to have to heat up your oven once it gets hot outside. They do need to spend some time chillin' in the fridge, but the actual work-time is pretty minimal, and I'd say the return is very worth it. Gingersnap crust rather than boring graham cracker (just kidding, graham crackers, you're not boring!), a creamy blend of mascarpone and yogurt spiked with sugar and vanilla, and topped with strawberries brushed with red current jam and a little grand marnier. I knew you'd like it.
Strawberry Mascarpone Bars
Adopted from Food and Drink
4 cups ginger cookie crumbs (basically all of the cookies from a 1 pound box, given a little wizz in a food processor, or sealed in a ziplock bag and bashed around with a rolling pin)
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces mascarpone (or ricotta, if you're not neighbors with Vermont)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
1 cup redcurrant jelly (if you can't find it, use any red jelly like raspberry, for example)
1 tablespoons grand marnier
In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter and ginger cookie crumbs until the crumbs are all moistened. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, then pat the cookie crumbs into the bottom. Put into the refrigerator while you prepare the rest.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the ginger cookie crust, once it has firmed up in the refrigerator. Lay the strawberry halves in tight lines over the mascarpone layer. Make sure the strawberries are close together, with little filling showing. Return to the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan, heat the redcurrant jelly along with the grand marnier until they are melted together. Cool slightly, then brush the glaze over the strawberries and fill the cracks between berries with the glaze. Return to the refrigerator again until the glaze is firm.
To serve, lift the bars out of the pan by pulling out the parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Keep refrigerated.