Hello again everyone! It’s been a while since I last wrote a post on here, and it’s good to be back 😊 And I’ve brought with me the recipe for these brilliant cookie bars – a melt in your mouth biscuit base, a layer of juicy strawberries and finally a crumbly topping with cinnamon and lemon. What’s not to love?!
My new job has been keeping me busy over the last few months, there was lots to see and learn and many new people to meet. As a result I didn’t have a lot of time to fit in some baking and when I was getting a bit stressed about it I decided to take a bit of a time out, to make sure I wasn’t letting it become a chore but still something to be enjoyed. So from now on I will probably be posting a little less regularly than I was before, whenever the mood to bake strikes me 😉
Now for the cookie bars: I’ve been making these for a few years now and they’re really popular with everyone. They always disappear rather quickly at our house, and it’s no wonder with how good they are. The biscuit mix is quickly pulsed together in the food processor and baked first. You keep a little of the mix behind to make the crumble topping later. The strawberries are sliced and put in a sieve with some lemon juice. This is so they lose some of their moisture content and don’t become too liquid during baking, so don’t miss this step out. Strawberries and crumble topping are spread over the biscuit base and baked again. Then comes the hardest part: the waiting for it to cool! It’s always so difficult when the kitchen smells heavenly and it’s already out of the oven, but you still can’t eat it (or is that just me? 😂 )!
I bet you can make these with other fruits as well, but I haven’t tried it yet. So if you do, definitely let me know how it turned out. They’re just so good with fresh, ripe strawberries in the summer, that I haven’t really strayed from that yet, but I think I’ll have to try these out with maybe plums in the autumn 🤔 But for now, here we go with the strawberry version!
You will need
300g hulled strawberries
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
300g plain flour
125g caster sugar + 2 tbsp for the crumble
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g butter – 200g softened, 50g cold and diced
4 tbsp rolled porridge oats
3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
2 tbsp strawberry jam
- Heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a 22cm square tin with baking paper.
- Thinly slice the strawberries and mix with 4 tsp lemon juice. Put into a sieve over a bowl and leave to macerate.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, 125g caster sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and softened butter with ½ tsp salt, until the mix starts coming together. Tip ¾ of the dough into the tin and press down to compact into a base. Prick with a fork and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Add the cold butter, the remaining sugar and cinnamon, oats, hazelnuts and lemon zest to the reserved dough mix and rub in with your fingers until crumbly.
- When the base is cooked, mix the jam with the strawberries (discard any liquid in the bowl) and spread evenly on top. Sprinkle over the crumble topping and bake for a further 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool completely in the tin before lifting out and cutting into 16 pieces.