Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberries and Exciting News

Guess what Jessica did last night?!  After a fabulous dinner with Amy at Whole Foods, yes I love going to Whole Foods and going to their buffet, getting what I want, and eating it outside. When the weather is nice you'd be crazy not to take advantage! After dinner Amy and I walked down toward my apartment and during our walk I decided that I just had to bake. I was pretty eager to throw a delicious treat up on this post and I have been craving a particular snack.  Like many people, I need something sweet after every meal, so, as opposed to eating pre-packaged process food, why not nosh on something delicious and homemade?

This recipe is an exciting twist on a classic treat that many people, including my sister, would eat every day- Lemon Squares.  Not being a huge fan of the tartness of lemon in that large of a quantity I stumbled upon a recipe on Weight Watchers back in the day for raspberry squares!  I decided that I should finally use the frozen strawberries in my freezer and opted for an even further twist and went for Strawberry squares.

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour (I would stick to all purpose and not try and lighten it up with whole wheat because of the texture)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup no sugar added strawberry preserves (I went with Trader Joe's No Sugar Added Strawberry Preserves- Trader Joe's is a girl on a budgets best friend)
1 cup unsweetened frozen  strawberries

** you can use any berry you would like for this but I personally would make sure to have the preserves match the unsweetened berry- or maybe mix it up? That could be interesting!

The steps are a little bit tedious but well worth it for the final product!

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2) With an electric mixer in a medium size bowl mix flour, sugar, almond extract and butter (which should be softened and cut into small cubes)
3) Pour this mixture onto an un-pamed brownie pan and spread out evenly
4) Bake this mixture for 20-25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown
5) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, over low heat, stir to combine, preserves and strawberries (if dealing with whole frozen strawberries I suggest cutting them up into smaller pieces so they combine well)
6) Remove pan from the oven and let cool
7) Once crust has cooled, gently pour preserves mixture evenly over the crust and spread out so it is balanced
8) Put back in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the preserves are set into the crust
9) Remove and let cool.
10) Cut and enjoy!
  (Pardon my terrible pictures, they were taken on my phone- off to Best Buy to get a new camera charger during lunch- PROMISE)
I personally love these but anything involving Jam is... well... my jam! I give these the below Star Fabulous Rating!
Star Fabulous Rating: 9/10
In other exciting news- Fabulous Carrots N Cake blogger, Tina, is helping out a great cause and doing another one of her infamous CNC Bake Sales to benefit Team for Kids. Team for Kids is an organization that helps provide health and fitness education to children in low-income areas!  Tina is running the New York City Marathon to support Team for Kids so I am so excited that I can help out (in a small way) and participate in the CNC Bake Sale! Make sure to check out Tina's Blog at Carrots N Cake to bid on my delicious PB&J Bars! Hope to see alot of you bidding to participate and help out the cause!

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