Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9 inch metal pan with baking spray and line with a piece of parchment that covers all or most of the bottom of the pan and overhangs two opposite sides. This will help you remove the whole dessert from the pan after baking. Powder the coconut in a coffee grinder. Dice the strawberries.
Measure all of the dry ingredients into a smallish mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Stir and press the mixture with a large spoon or rubber spatula until the butter is incorporated. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to test if it will hold together nicely. If not, add 1-2 more tablespoons of melted butter. REMOVE 1 CUP OF THE MIXTURE FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
Beat the softened cream cheese with the egg and Sukrin Melis (Icing Sugar) in a small bowl until completely incorporated.
Dump the rest of the shortbread mixture into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and top with a piece of waxed paper. Press the crust firmly into the pan with a flat bottomed glass. With a spoon, drop the cream cheese over the crust and spread gently. There will be open spaces. Distribute the diced strawberries. Crumble 1/2 of the reserved crust mixture over the strawberries and then half of the almonds. Repeat. Sprinkle with additional sweetener if desired.
Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before lifting out of the pan.Cut the strawberry cream cheese crumble into 16 squares with a large chef's knife, cutting straight down. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 16.
WHY PROTEIN POWDER? Whey protein powder is a great texture enhancer in many baked goods. It add a more bread-like texture to Fathead dough and a more cake-like and softer texture to cakes, muffins and quick breads. Adding a little to this crust makes it more like a shortbread crust or cookie. It does make a difference.
POSSIBLE SUBS: If you are allergic to whey protein powder or do not have any what can you do? You can try adding a gluten-free baking mix like Bob's Red Mill. Another substitution is finely ground GF oats or Oat Fiber 500. I would only use half the amount of oat fiber than protein powder in the recipe. Because it is pure fiber, it may make the crust too dry.
JUST SO YOU KNOW: I have not tested the shortbread crust recipe with the subs I suggested. They will each add their own flavors and baking properties and will alter the texture from how it is written. Who knows, they may even improve it!
METRIC CONVERSIONS: Looking for metric conversions? Visit the American to Metric Conversions on the Blog Menu Bar.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 bar)
Calories 284Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.