Apparently like this...
I pre-ordered my new Hannah Swensen mystery, Devil's Food Cake Murder, back in January. There are always so many good recipes in these books! The stories may be a little predictable and lack-luster, but I usually feel like I'm visiting old friends when I read these books.
The first recipe I had to try was Strawberry Shortbread Cookie Bars. Doesn't that just sound amazing?
Strawberry Shortbread Cookies Bars
Recipe courtesy of Joann Fluke, Devil's Food Cake Murder
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar (don’t sift unless it's got big lumps)
- 1 ½ cups salted butter, softened
- 1 can (21 ounces) strawberry pie filling (I used Comstock)
- Mix the flour and the powdered sugar together in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cut in the softened butter with a two knives or a pastry cutter until the resulting mixture resembles bread crumbs or coarse corn meal. (I did this in a food processor using cold butter cut into chunks layered between the powdered sugar and flour mixture.)
- Spread HALF of this mixture into a greased (or sprayed nonstick cooking spray) 9-inch by 13-inch pan
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
- Remove the pan to a wire rack or a cold burner on the stove, but DON’T TURN OFF THE OVEN!
- Let the crust cool for 5 minutes.
- Spread the pie filling over the top of the crust you just baked.
- Sprinkle the crust with the other half of the crust mixture you saved. Try to do this as evenly as possible. Don't worry about little gaps in the topping. It will spread out and fill in a bit as it bakes.
- Gently press the top crust down with the flat blade of a metal spatula.
- Bake the cookie bars at 350 degrees F. for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden
- Turn off the oven and remove the pan to a wire rack or a cold burner to cool completely.
- When the bars are completely cool, cover the pan with foil and refrigerate them until you're ready to cut them. (Chilling them makes them easier to cut.)
- When you're ready to serve them, cut the Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies into brownie-sized pieces, arrange them on a pretty platter, and if you like, sprinkle the top with extra powdered sugar.