Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Strawberrry Shortcake Crumb Bars

Here are my beautifully delicious, strawberry shortbread crumb bars. Filled with strawberry and coconut oil there is plenty of “sweet” in these, without as much sugar and butter as most cookie recipes call for.

Homemade treats are a MUST at the holidays. Sweets and treats are unavoidable. Really, you expect me to pass up Aunt Deb’s homemade chocolate chip cookies or Grandma’s homemade pecan pie?! This is one time of the year when I don’t feel guilty for indulging... because it only happens one time a year. As always there are recipes that can make you feel less guilty about bringing a treat to a family gathering – I believe this is one of them. I call these a“skinny” version of traditional strawberry shortbread crumb bar.

This strawberry crumb bar recipe is a three layer masterpiece, with a shortbread layer, strawberry jam and topped with sweet soft cookie crumbles. Coconut oil reduces the guilt on this one, by eliminating the need for an artery blocking amount of butter, and adds a bit of sweeter flavor.

Layer one... getting ready to add the strawberry.

Layer 2

Layer 3

Add these to your Christmas cookie baking list!

Price: The strawberry jam I used was from Whole Foods for $3.99. Coconut oil is expensive, ($6.99 at WF) but you will only use about ¼ of a standard 14 oz jar. Other ingredients are common for baking.

Strawberry Crumb Bar Recipe

2 Cups Flour
½ Cup Butter
½ Cup Coconut Oil (softened or liquefied)
½ Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Strawberry Jam
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Quick Oats

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large bowl, mix butter (softened), flour, coconut oil and white sugar. You can use a hand or stand mixer (but in my minimalist kitchen I used a good old whisk and my hands). Mix until combined and you get a cookie dough texture. Reserve ½ cup of dough.  On a greased 13x9 dish, spread out the remaining dough, flat until it covers the bottom of the dish.  Place in the oven for 12-14 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix strawberry and lemon juice. Then in a medium sized bowl, mix the crumble layer, using reserved dough, brown sugar and oatmeal. Stir until combined. It should be kind of clumpy. When crust is done baking, spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool about an hour before serving. You may cut into slices while cooling, but don’t remove from pan (they will most likely be soft and break apart). 

Mixing time! Here was my mixing endeavor before I went in with my bare hands.

Press the dough out evenly across the dish for the first layer. 

Crumb mixture (before mixing)

Ready for the oven!


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