Saturday, June 5, 2010

Boysenberry Jamble Shortbread Bars

I'm holding a shower today and did a lot of advance baking. Some people are scared of advanced baking. They think that once something is in the freezer it automatically tastes like the freezer. Through my childhood, however, my mom proved to me that it is possible to freeze desserts and then have them taste as fresh as from the oven when you serve them. My sister has proved this more recently and I am proving it for the shower. Besides, all the recipes say you can freeze the cookies and bars so I'm set!

These bars are actually called Blackberry Jamble Shortbread Bars--but I switched it up and used Boysenberry jam filling because I really enjoy the stuff. It is slightly sweeter than blackberry and equally delicious. I think it is a great fit to these bars. This recipe is from the Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey cookbook I have been using recently.

This recipe was easy to make with minimal dishes (a big plus!). The only thing I did wrong was that instead of making a crumble on the top, I just made a second crust. This stemmed from the dough being too soft (I was impatient) and it didn't crumble. I also had a bunch of left over dough which is just weird...I don't know how that happened because my bottom crust seems thicker than it should've been. So, whoops. Now I'll have to make some shortbread cookies, darn. ;)

1 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 C sugar
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
3 3/4 C unbleached flour
1 C almond flour or very finely ground almonds*
1 1/2 C boysenberry preserves (or flavor of your choice)
1/2 C chopped almonds
confectioners sugar for dusting

*Use a spice grinder or mini chopper to grind sliced raw almonds smaller. Add 1-2 t flour so that they don't grind into butter

1. Combine butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat until creamy on med-low. Add vanilla and salt and beat until combined
2. Beat in flour and almond flour at low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.
3. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and press 1/3 of the dough evenly into the pan. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold and firm--this takes more than 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 325. Bake the bottom crust until firm and just beginning to turn pale brown around the edges, about 20 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and spread with preserves, it may help to stir the preserves before spreading. Crumble the rest of the shortbread dough over the jam to form a pebbly topping. Sprinkle the chopped almonds over the top.
6. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until topping is firm and crisp and lightly golden in color. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
7. Cut bars into squares and then halve them diagonally for triangles. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if you are serving them immediately. If not, freeze and sprinkle right before serving.

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