Berry, Apple, and Rosemary Shortbread Bars

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9 x 13″ pan, about 24 squares
for shortbread:

  • 4 cups (560 gr) AP flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 1/2 tspn freshly grated meyer lemon zest
  • 2 – 4 Tbspn fresh rosemary, finely chopped*
  • 4 sticks (1 lb.) butter
  • 2 cups (400 gr) sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

for filling:

  • ~330 gr crisp tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 tspn lemon juice
  • 2 tspn sugar
  • 1 tspn AP flour
  • 1 cup blackberry + wild blueberry jam (Recipe Below)
  • powdered sugar, optional

METHOD:

  1. Make the shortbread. Whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Gradually beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide the shortbread dough in half. Wrap each half in parchment paper or plastic wrap and freeze until hard, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil, leaving overhang at the sides.
  7. Prepare the filling. Toss the chopped apples, lemon juice, sugar, and flour together and let sit for a few minutes.
  8. Heat the jam briefly until it reaches a somewhat liquid, spreadable consistency.
  9. Remove half of the shortbread dough from the freezer. Grate using a coarse grater or the grater plate of a food processor. Spread the grated dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  10. Spoon the jam over the first layer of shortbread dough and distribute the apple chunks in one layer on the jam.
  11. Remove the second half of the dough from the freezer and grate. Pour the grated dough evenly over the jam and apple layer.
  12. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the edges and top are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  13. Using the foil, lift the shortbread out of the pan. If using, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.

Note: for a strong rosemary taste, use up to 4 Tbspn of chopped rosemary. For a more subtle rosemary flavor, use just 2 Tbspn.

Blackberry and Wild Blueberry Jam
makes about one cup of jam
INGREDIENTS:

  • 125 gr wild blueberries
  • 195 gr blackberries
  • 17 gr freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 160 gr sugar

METHOD:

  1. Place a few spoons on a plate in the freezer.
  2. Mix the berries together in a bowl and add the lemon juice. Let sit for a few minutes to macerate. Divide the berries in half, and set half aside.
  3. In a non-reactive saucepan over medium low heat, combine half of the berries with the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the juices run. Increase heat to medium high until the berries boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the remaining berries. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and stir every thirty seconds or so. Cook for 10-15 minutes more, testing for doneness after 10 minutes.
  5. To test for doneness, remove the pan from the stove. Retrieve a spoon from the freezer and scoop a small amount of liquid and berries. Return the spoon to the freezer for a few minutes. Once cooled, hold the spoon vertically. If the jam does not run off the spoon and is a thick, spreadable consistency, the jam is done. If not, return the pan to the stove and continue to cook for a few more minutes before testing again.
  6. Cool the jam completely, preferably overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator, before using in the bars recipe.

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Breakfast Bars with Tart Cherries, Toasted Pecans, and Chocolate Chunks

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 12 bars

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or bran, or oat bran
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped dried sour cherries (or other dried fruit)
  • 3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted (optionally browned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange

METHOD:

  1. Position a rack in the oven and preheat to 175ºC (350ºF).
  2. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over like a sling. (This will make removing the bars a cinch.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dries to combine. Stir in the dried fruit, chocolate and nuts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wets to combine. Pour them into the dries and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Spread evenly in the parchmented pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The Bars should feel set and firmish in the center, with browned edges.
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cut while still warm into 12 bars. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week or so, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to a couple months.

Oatmeal Lemon Cream Bars

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars

INGREDIENTS: 

Makes 16 Bars

For the oatmeal cookie base:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and oats.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Continue with step three in the recipe below.

For the bar:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) of oatmeal cookie mix (or the oatmeal base you made above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon peel (about 2 large lemons)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF). Spray 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray or just use butter to oil it.
  2. In a large bowl, cut butter into oatmeal cookie mix using a fork or electric mixer. Stir in egg until crumbly. (This is only done if a ready made oatmeal cookie mix is used! If you have done the oatmeal base as described above skip this step and continue with Step 3).
  3. Press half of oatmeal cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. While the cookie bottom is baking, stir condensed milk, lemon peel, and lemon juice into a small bowl. Spread lemon mixture over baked crust (while crust is hot). Crumble the remaining oatmeal cookie mixture over top. Bake about 25 minutes longer or until golden brown.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!