When you look around your grocery store, you'll see lots of strawberries filling the produce section shelves. Here's one fun way to use them...but if you don't care for strawberries, feel free to experiment with blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or do a combination of them all!
Mama Steph's strawberry cookie bars
For the crust and topping:
3 cups plain flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold, and sliced into small pieces
For the berry mixture:
3-4 cups of berries (if strawberries are large, chop into halves or even quarters)
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
juice of one large lemon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, or use cooking spray to coat.
2. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest until just combined. Add butter, egg and vanilla, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. (note: This process can also be done by hand in a medium or large mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or forks to combine all to make coarse crumbs with no large chunks of butter.)
3. In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. When sugar is dissolved, add the berries to bowl, and stir gently until the berries are completely coated.
4. Press 2/3 of the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared 9x13 pan. Really press firmly so it adheres well and forms a solid crust across the bottom of the pan.
5. Top crust with berry mixture; spread evenly across the crust.
6. Top berries with remaining 1/3 of crust mixture, and press gently in. Some of the berries will peek through, and that is fine. No need to completely cover.
7. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until top is just beginning to turn golden brown.
8. Here's the hard part: Cool completely before cutting into bars. Store in airtight container.
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