Strawberry crumb bars

Strawberry crumb barsWhen I was younger, I used to always eat an English Muffin or toast with strawberry jam on it. I loved how you could feel the tiny, little seeds on your tongue as you ate. Strawberry jam was—and continues to be—my jam.

So as I sifted through my many Barefoot Contessa cookbooks to decide what to make this weekend, I came upon her recipe for raspberry crumb bars—little squares of goodness topped with almonds and buttery dough and granola. But of course I wanted to put my own spin on this one, and my jar of strawberry preserves was calling from the fridge.

Do not wait: You must make these. They are honestly one of the most tasty treats I’ve made in a long time.

STRAWBERRY CRUMB BARS
Servings: 12 squares

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces strawberry jam or preserves
2/3 cup granola without dried fruit (I use my favorite vanilla almond kind from Trader Joe’s)
¼ cup sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed just until combined.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour and salt together and, with the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter mixture, mixing until it almost comes together in a ball.
  5. Turn the dough out on your (clean) counter. Lightly pat two-thirds of the dough evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan and about ¼-inch up the sides.
  6. Spread with the jam, leaving a ¼-inch border. Mix the granola into the remaining dough with your hands. Break the dough into small bits and distribute it on top of the jam, covering most of the surface. Sprinkle the almonds on top.
  7. Bake the bars for 45 minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars.

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