Roasted Strawberry Blondie Bars Balsamico

Bars:

1 pound strawberries, chopped

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

 

1/2 cup of butter, melted

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg beaten

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mascarpone frosting:

1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature

3 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss strawberries in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons sugar; transfer berries and liquid to a large baking sheet and spread in a single layer.  Roast for 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. 

Meanwhile, spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line with parchment paper, letting about 4 to 5 inches overhang on two opposite sides to form handles so the bars can be lifted out later.  Spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk together the melted butter and dark brown sugar in a bowl.  Add the egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon almond extract and whisk until smooth.

Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.  When strawberries are done, stir them in along with the syrup just until evenly distributed.   Spread in pan evenly. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

While bars are cooling, make the frosting.  Beat 1/4 cup butter, the mascarpone or cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract until light and fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.  Remove bars from pan by picking up the edges of the parchment paper and setting on a cutting board.  Spread the frosting evenly over the top, then sprinkle with the almonds.  Keep refrigerated.

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