Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dessert in a Pinch

Every cook needs to have a dessert recipe that is quick and easy to make for those “dessert in a pinch” moments. With about a 10 minute preparation time these bars have saved my proverbial bacon on numerous occasions.  The bars travel extremely well making them ideal for picnics and pot luck suppers.  They look and taste fabulous belying their ease and simplicity.  Best of all, my family loves them--which explains why there isn't a picture of the bars stacked on the serving plate!

Notes for this recipe:  Almost any flavor jam can be used for this recipe.  I prefer deeply colored jams as they provide the best color contrast.   (DH's favorite is Black Currant.)  To soften butter quickly:  place the butter in the microwave for approx. 10 to 12 seconds.

Strawberry Crumb Bars

1-1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-2/3 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. good quality strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350.  Select a 9x13 inch pan and lightly grease with butter.  Set aside.

Cream the butter at medium speed.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and blend on medium speed until combined.  Blend in the flour and rolled oats.

Press 2/3 of the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Spread the jam evenly over the dough.

Pinch pieces of the remaining dough on top of the jam.   

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges and topping is lightly browned.  Remove to a cooling rack.  Cut into bars while still warm.  When cooled completely, remove the bars from the pan and store in an airtight container.

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