The winner of this batch was... Recipe.com's Streusel Strawberry Bars.
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup of Splenda sugar blend)
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups of flour (I used whole wheat, but you can use all purpose)
- 1 cup of pecans
- 2 cups of preserves
1. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined.
Note: Due to our failure at having a mixer right now, I tried using a blender. This was tough. And we had to slowly let it into the blades to mix it together. This is why you need a mixer. You'll need to scrape the sides of either way you mix though to get it all together.
2. Beat in eggs.
3. You can either beat in some of the flour with the mixer, or do as I did and mix together the flour and pecans by hand. The note here is the mixture will be crumbly. I didn't notice this and mine was not crumbly, possibly due to a lack of flour. This isn't awful, but makes it difficult to set aside 2 cups of this mixture to crumble on top to make the layers.
4. Press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2 inch pan or two different sized pans. I used a round cake pan and a longer oval pan so I could try using two different preserves.
5. Spread your preserves on top of the mixture to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
If you listened to the directions to get the crumbly mixture, then you can sprinkle reserved mixture on top of the preserves to make the layers. If you failed, like I did, you can just go onto the next step and pray for the best.
6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
7. Either drizzle on top icing, or just put some powdered sugar on top, and cut into bars.
|The oval strawberry one pre-baking|
Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in additional milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until you get a drizzle consistency - so it's creamy, but able to let slowly drop from your spoon/fork/spatula.
I had a hard time with the consistency of the powdered sugar icing and the thicker mixture early on. Mine was more like a dough, which ended up being extremely tasty, but wasn't crumbly like before. Although it worried me at first, it was still really delicious, so don't be too worried if it isn't crumbly and you can't make that top layer.
|Blueberry one pre-baking|
I also may have had a delicious turn out because I used the best preserves I have ever had. The Thelen family farm in Wisconsin does the best jams and I used their strawberry and blueberry. They sell them on the road during the warmer weather as well as at Farmer's markets. I'm lucky enough to be related to them - so I can go picking strawberries with my aunt and watch as the jam making happens. A lot of hard work goes into them and it is the best. Smucker's ain't got nothing on the Thelens.
But if you need motivation, or just a sweet and fruity treat, these Berry Streusel Bars are a great treat that can feed a crowd or last all week.