I've finished the Devil's Food Cake Murder mystery book and decided to try one more of the baker/heroine's recipes: Strawberry Shortbread Cookies Bars. These simple to make cookie bars have a strawberry pie filling sandwiched between two buttery shortbread style cookie crusts. These bars are sweet and rich and buttery. I followed the recipe but made a couple of minor additions: I added 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp almond extract to the cookie dough. I lined the 9" x 13" pan with aluminum foil for easier clean up and removal. I also placed the baked bars under the broiler at the end of their baking time for several minutes to get a nice golden crunchy top.
After baking make sure to let these bar chill thoroughly before cutting and serving. This allows for the flavors to meld together and for easier cutting and serving. Top off the squares with a dusting of powder sugar before serving. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe here. Start by lining a 9" x 13" pan with aluminum foil, then spray with Pam. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cube the three stick of butter and place in the fridge or freezer to chill. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, powdered sugar AND 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract if using. Set aside. In the bowl of a food processor layer the flour mixture with the chilled butter cubes. Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal.
Place half the mixture evenly into the prepare pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges start to look browned. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Don't turn off the oven!
When the five minutes are up, spread the strawberry filling evenly over the crust. Top with the remaining flour mixture and return to the oven for 35 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.
At this point I turned on the broiler and let the top get a nice browned, crisp top – watch closely so it doesn't burn! Remove from oven and let bars cool completely then cover with foil and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Dust the tops of the cut chilled bars just before serving.