I have been buried deep under an influx of vegetables from the garden. I know I've been very absent from this blog except for book reviews and the like but I have been attached to my stove as I always am this time of year.
I do still bake for the firemen but I don't get as fancy as I just don't have the time. This week is a perfect example. I went super easy but ended up with a really delicious bar cookie for them that was - at least by all reports - truly enjoyed.
It started with a box of Shortbread Cookie Mix that I had received as a free gift with my last order from King Arthur Flour. I wasn't in the mood to just send in shortbread so I mixed up the batter in my KitchenAid - it was just the mix and butter; super simple!
I put the finished dough in the bottom of a 13 x 9" pan. I spread it slightly higher at the edges. I didn't take photos, I'm sorry but I'm sure you can picture the process. I poked the dough with a fork and put it in a preheated 325° oven for about 18 minutes. There was just a bit of brown around the edges. I put the pan on a rack to cool.
While it was cooling I made up a batch of crumb topping:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
dash of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the slightly cooled melted butter and mix well.
When the base was cool I took two jars of my homemade apricot ginger jam. I ended up using one and a half jars to cover the cookie dough (this would be 3/4s of a pint.) I just spread the jam evenly over the base, just to the edges. I then took the crumb topping mix and put it on top of the jam, making some small and some larger sized crumbs.
The pan went back into the oven - now at 350° for 15 minutes to cook the crumbs. When it was done I let it cool on a cookie sheet.
When it was cool I dusted it with confectioner's sugar.
The slightly tart apricot jam was a perfect compliment to the buttery shortbread and the crumb topping. King Arthur Flour saved me some time with a high quality mix that tasted delicious. I was glad I had it on my shelf and I will be ordering other mixes to have handy for these types of occasions.