Monday, November 24, 2008

Chewy strawberry almond bars

Chewy strawberry almond bars

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

Chewy strawberry almond bars
adapted from here

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (350g) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
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

Chewy strawberry almond bars


Manggy said...

If I did my best sad puppy-dog eyes, would you shove the kid aside and give them to me instead? Pretty please?!?! :P (Who am I kidding, my eyes will always bug out...) I love strawberries!

Snooky doodle said...

wow this looks ill sureso good. these wly cheer me up :)

Peter M said...

It's three in the afternoon here - that means snack time...could ya toss one of these please?

Nic said...

Oooh, yum! Especially those crunchy almonds on top. I prefer vanilla to almond extract.

Anonymous said...

August Rush was a warm and fuzzy movie, just like I'm sure how anyone would feel upon eating these yummy looking chewy strawberry almond bars!
- Jacqueline

Anonymous said...

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Don't you be getting any funky ideas!

If there's one person who will be wrapping Freddie up in a warm blanket and serving him, it'll be me! ;-)

Abby said...

I love anything with almonds (and sugar!)

I also way over-invested myself in that movie. A bit unbelievable, but so SWEET. Total chick flick.

Anonymous said...

you had me at "chewy bars" but then you went and added strawberry and almond to the mix...i'm sold!!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Those look good. I love almonds, probably my fave. I do though think I'd prefer raspberry jam, love that combo!

Thanks for sharing the recipe. Great photos!

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful and I adore almonds so how yummy is this! Wonderful dessert item.

Penang Tua Pui said...

i like the way u start a post... never realize that you are going to talk about cookies... not until the end...

btw.. nice recipe on cookies...

Deeba PAB said...

I was just going to say what PTP just said...about the intriguing way you begin your posts Pam!Love the bars & love both the almond & vanilla extract ideas...yum!

Anonymous said...

I love chewy cookies and bars.These love lovely!

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Hi Patricia!

I often read your yummy blog but first time I comment; these wonderful color bars are great -everything with almond is tasteful- but with all the ingredients are stunning! I can’t wait to nibble on it!!
The option with vanilla sounds very good too!

Gera .:. sweetsfoods

Dragon said...

You're too funny. :) Oh and I want at least 3 of these.

Diana said...

My husband and I just watched August Rush. What an audibly stunning movie! The sound editors must have taken forever. Your bars look delicious. I think I might try it with raspberries.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! I love bars like this... must try it!

Anonymous said...

These look super delicious! A happy ending indeed.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Mark, I'd bake something even more special for you! :)

Natalie, thank you!

Pete, have as many as you want! :)

Nic, I prefer vanilla, too.

Jacqueline, thank you so much for stopping by!

Lacy, I meant that in a motherly way! :)

Abby, very unbelievable, indeed, but so optimistic!

Megan, I'm glad you like these! Tks!

Ingrid, thank you for stopping by!

Cathy, I love almonds, too!

Penang, I'm a sucker for movies. :)
Tks for stopping by!

Deeba, I like mixing it up a bit. :)

Bob, tks for dropping me a line! :)

Farida, thank you!

Gera, I'm so glad you decided to comment - thank you!

Dragon, and you are too sweet. :)

Diana, you are right - the sound is really taken care of. :)
Thank you for visiting!

Candace, thank you!

Dayna, thank you!

Nina Timm said...

I would not mind chewing on one of these bars with my morning brew right now!!!Delicious!

Sarah said...

You are about the cutest, sweetest blogger I know. How adorable was this post? I can just picture you wrapping little Freddie in a blanket and bringing these just made snacks over to him.

Chris said...

I made these to bring back for my friends during my Thanksgiving recess with cloudberry preserves and they instantly disappeared. This is definitely going to become a staple in my dessert repertoire. Keep up the great work!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nina, thank you!

Sarah, you are far too sweet, darling! Thank you!

Chris, that is great news! Tks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

I made these bars today with strawberry jam I made last week. I heeded your warning about the almond extract. I used 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. I also added a pinch of Diamond brand Kosher salt to the dough.

They are delicious and irresistible. I gave small pieces to two boys who live in the neighborhood with the offer that if they wished they could have more. The both immediately asked for "really big corner pieces". My husband, Conrad, has eaten four.

Thank you very much for giving your readers so many wonderful recipes. You're the best.



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