You know that feeling? When something is so good we don’t want it to get ruined?
I was watching “August Rush” on the weekend and, besides crying my eyes out, I kept thinking “Oh, please don’t let this adorable boy get lost. Don’t let him grow up and become an idiot, a crackhead, a wife beater, or anything like that”
I’d cried and laughed with Freddie Highmore before, but this time I felt like wrapping him in a very warm blanket and serving him a plate of these cookies, with some hot cocoa sprinkled with lots of marshmallows.
Chewy strawberry almond bars
adapted from here
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (350g) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract*
2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (230g) regular rolled oats
½ cup sliced almonds
¾ cup strawberry preserves
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, extra, for the topping
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a 30x20x5cm (8x12x2in) baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil; set pan aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Add flour, oats, and ½ cup almonds and mix it all in slow speed – dough will be stiff.
Remove ¾ cup of the dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over preserves layer and sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut cookies out of the pan. Cut into bars.
* I thought the flavor was much too strong – I’d use half the amount next time, or even replace it with vanilla
Makes about 27 bars