From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have two recipes to share with you tonight. Both are for totable fruit bars and that makes them perfect candidates for informal summer get-togethers. One recipe is for a strawberry layered shortbread and the other is for a streusel topped blueberry-oatmeal square. They both make fabulous cookies, and I think the final determinant as to which is best, depends entirely on personal taste. If you are in a hurry, the strawberry shortbread is nearly effortless to make, but the streusel bars are simple enough that children can make them. When stored in an airtight container, both cookies will keep for several days, but leftovers are rarely a problem with either of these cookies. I do hope you'll try at least one of these bars. Actually, I hope you'll try both. They speak to old-fashioned summer days and I know you will enjoy them. Here is how they are made.
Strawberry Macadamia Shortbread Bars...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Baking Bites
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 cup strawberry jam/preserves
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
2) Combine flour, sugar, salt and macadamia nuts in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until macadamia nuts are coarsely chopped. Add in butter and egg and pulse until mixture comes together into a soft, crumbly dough.
3) Set aside approximately 2 cups of mixture, then pour remaining mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Press down gently, but firmly, into an even layer.
4) In a small bowl, stir strawberry jam until it has a spreadable consistency. Spread strawberry jam over base layer. Sprinkle remaining dough, breaking it up into crumbles with your fingertips, evenly over top of the jam layer.
5) Bake for 40-45 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool bars in the pan before slicing. Yield: 20 - 24 bars.
Blueberry Streusel Bars...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Quaker Oats
1-1/2 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
1/3 cup raspberry or strawberry preserves
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional)
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine oats, 1-1/4 cups flour, sugar and butter; mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly on wire rack.
2) In medium bowl, combine blueberries, preserves, 1 teaspoon flour and lemon peel, if using; mix gently. Spread evenly over crust to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture, patting gently.
3) Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. Yield: 16 bars.
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