Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Strawberry Shortbread Bars

If I'm baking with jam, I almost always use my tried and true favorite, apricot jam. But with an unopened jar of strawberry jam sitting in the cabinet, I was tempted to try something new. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's Raspberry Crumble Bars recipe, but with just a few tweaks here and there based on the ingredients I had on hand. Needless to say, these bars disappeared immediately. 

2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
dash of salt
about 10 ounces of jam (any flavor)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of dried granola
1/4 cup of any chopped nuts

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, just until combined. Add the vanilla and mix. With the mixer running slowly, gradually add the sifted flour and salt. Keep mixing until the dough almost turns into a ball. Take 2/3 of the dough and press it onto the bottom of a baking dish (see below). (No need to butter the pan because the high butter-fat content will allow the bars to slide out easily.) Slightly push the dough up to the sides. Spread the dough with the jam, making sure to leave a small border on the edges. Spread generously! Mix and crumble the granola into the 1/3 remaining dough with your hands. Break pieces of the dough and sprinkle over the jam. Depending on the size of your baking dish, you will likely have leftover dough. Sprinkle the nuts over the crumble topping and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until the dough is light brown. Let cool completely before cutting them into squares. 


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