Monday, June 22, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Bars

So, did you happen to see the Better Homes and Gardens May, 2009 cover? Did it make your mouth water too? Oh, you missed it? Well, it was a picture of Fresh Strawberry Bars. They looked so wonderful that I knew Mom and I had to make them during our weekend of marathon baking.

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strawberry jam
4 cups small whole strawberries, halved or quartered

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil beyond the edges. Set aside. I decided to leave our bars in the 9x13 pan, so I did not line the pan with foil, I just left the bars inside the pan. I did butter the pan real well though.
2. In large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Beat in sugars, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining flour.
3. Spread dough in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
4. Cool completely on rack. Remove from pan by lifting foil. (again, I just left it in the pan) Spread jam and top with berries. Cut into bars. Serve at once or refrigerate up to 6 hours. Makes 24 bars
Make Ahead: Wrap the peanut butter base in foil; store at room temperature up to 24 hours. Before serving, top with jam and berries. Or freeze the peanut butter base in a freezer container up to 3 months.

We had mixed reviews for this dessert. Bailey and I loved it, while Mom and Rominal weren't that thrilled with it. Rominal isn't a good judge though, because he really doesn't like sweets that much (how I ended up with someone who doesn't like sweets is beyond me). To make matters worse, he doesn't like peanut butter that much either. Mom agreed with me in that we both thought that it was a visually pretty dessert and would be good to take to a pot-luck function.

Here's the cooked base.

Oh goodness, how did that extra butter get in there? Gosh - it was everywhere Saturday!

And here's a picture of the finished product. The magazine would have you take this out of the pan, which did look much better, but that would have meant I would have had to find a serving plate and dirty another dish. It just wasn't going to happen. Even using my dishes sparingly, we still had to run the dishwasher 4 times on Saturday because of all of the cooking and baking we were doing. I think that might be a new record for me.

Back to the Fresh Strawberry bars -

I would recommend this recipe, and I know Bailey would as well. In fact, she and I just finished up another slice each. Yummy!!

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