It took me ages to make the bars. I saw the recipe there back in Ferbruary and immediately fell in love with it. Michele used raspberries, but I didn't have them on hand and was about to wait for fresh ones. However, I just couldn't wait any more and had to make them. I decided to use strawberries instead and tweaked the measures to fit into a bigger baking pan. I also lowered the amount of sugar as it seemed to be too sweet for our taste buds and it was just okay :)
These cookie bars are really rich, but incredibly tasty. The definition of cookie bars is: they consist of dough/batter or other ingredients that are poured or pressed into a pan (sometimes in multiple layers), and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking. (That's what Wiki says :D). I cut these into small squares (aprox. 4x4cm) and I just had to eat one after another. Even my mom who isn't very fond of sweets and cookies kept coming back for more which I consider a big success!
By the way, the bars aren't time consuming at all. I tend to be very slow in the kitchen and even I managed to finish the preparation within 1 hour (baking and washing up included) so I think you'll be done in less than 45 minutes. If you are craving for something sweet, small and tasty, don't hesitate and try them out :)
100g (13 tbsp) all-purpose flour
70g (3/4 cup) quick oats
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
85g (3/4 cup) almonds, coarsely chopped
170g (3/4 cup) butter, softened
300g (1-1/2 cups) packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp bitter almond extract
100g (less than 1 cup) strawberries, quartered
Line a square baking pan (25x25cm) with parchment paper. Combine flour, quick oats, baking powder, salt and chopped almonds in a medium bowl. Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (aprox. 2-3 minutes). Add eggs and almond extract and mix to incorporate. Mix in the flour mixture until JUST incorporated. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared baking pan (the dough will be sticky). Gently lay quartered strawberries evenly over the first cookie layer, then drop the rest of the dough by spoon fulls over the strawberry layer. Bake in preheated oven to 175C for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes in pan, then gently pull them out with the parchment paper and let them completely cool on a rack. Then cut into small squares (aprox. 4x4cm) and eat.
I'm so glad I finally managed to make these! They truly are exquisite. Maybe next time I'll try them with other berries - redcurrants or blackberries could be divine, too :) I'd describe these as soft, moist and chewy inside and slightly crispy outside - they have a very thin crunchy crust and when you bite into them it's just pure luxury. The almond pieces provide perfect crunch to the moist and chewy base which has great oat-y flavour and thanks to the bitter almond extract it reminds me marzipan a little bit :D I know there still is a lot of sugar, but these are cookie bars which are supposed to be eaten in small pieces just like regular cookies. Anyway, I ate like 8 or 9 in one sitting without being over sweeten. As I've written above, even my mom loved them :) Plus they're easy & fast, what else would you want?
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Tooth Friday
A Themed Bakers Sunday