Strawberry Shortbread Bars
I am considering renaming these Strawberry Shortbread Bars from Heaven since they look and smell divine, but I haven’t even tasted them yet. I’m dying to take a bite! I just took the 9 x 13 pan out of the oven, plus it’s after midnight and I have no business eating anything right now. I’m just so excited to taste test a completely new ingredient, browned butter! Technically, it’s just butter, cooked on medium-low heat until it turns brown, but that will likely transform the flavor into something wonderful and new. It seriously looks incredible.
For food styling, I went with my picnic-inspired Pendleton red and white gingham plate, a crocheted white lace placemat and my treasured Michelangelo flatware by Oneida, a wedding gift many years ago from my 90-something year old Aunt Jessie.
When I posted the Peach Crisp recipe a few days ago, my darling niece, Morgan–an extremely talented artist among many other talents, texted me an intriguing recipe called Peach Shortbread Bars. “If Morgan Mary sends me a recipe, Aunt Kelly listens,” I told her.
I didn’t have any peaches on hand, but I did have strawberries, so I baked Morgan’s recipe with this alternative fruit. If it weren’t for the fact that I haven’t taken any pictures of it yet, it would be so tempting to grab a shortbread bar right now. The struggle is real. I’m going to bed and will finish up tomorrow.
(Today) Believe it or not, it wasn’t until after lunch that I tasted one of these scrumptious bars, and I don’t know if it was my not being very hungry after having some of the best enchiladas in Austin. I was crazy about them, but not as much as I think I would have been with using peaches. Don’t get me wrong, I had worked up these babies so much in my head, that they didn’t make me die to eat the whole pan. (Thank you, Maudie’s Enchiladas Perfecto plate.) That was good thing at this point.
What I have concluded is that Morgan sent me the recipe with peaches and I was too impatient to have the proper ingredients and made due with what was in my refrigerator. These bars are SO good, but they would be even better with peaches, I’m convinced. Here’s the recipe. Make some and you will be glad you did. Thank you, Morgan!
Strawberry Shortbread Bars
- 1-1/3 cups cold butter
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour (12.5 ounces)
- 4 cups strawberries (washed, hulled, sliced 1/4-inch thickness)
- First, brown the butter. Melt butter in saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir frequently scraping any bits from the bottom. Turn heat off once the butter is browned and transfer to a shallow glass baking dish, then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan. Mix together in stand mixer the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the chilled browned butter until well mixed. Next, add the eggs then the flour. The mixture will be crumbly.
- Pat three-quarters of the crumbly dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly.
- Lay strawberry slices over crumb base, each slice overlapping the last. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over strawberries and bake for 30 minutes until top and edges are slightly brown. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares. Makes 20.
Note: To substitute peaches for the strawberries, use three small peaches, sliced. Calories per bar: 233