Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gluten-free Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Bars

It's the last of the dog days of summer. Even my dog knows it.

It's hot. My A/C is blasting. I really don't want to turn on the oven too often, since my apartment can heat up like woah. For some cases, I'll make an exception.

With the last minute slew of barbeques, it's nice to have a recipe on hand that you can bake up a ton of goodies, freeze, and have on hand in case of potluck emergencies. It's also nice if you can rig said goodies such that they'll appeal to your (several) friends with gluten intolerances.

Enter the PB&J shortbread bar.

These bars are sweet and light-- the perfect ending to a heavy cookout meal. They're a classic combination of berry preserves topped with a peanut butter crumble. The "shortbread" base is quite cakey and crumbly, but still manages to be super-buttery at the same time.  I used Thomas Keller's Cup4Cup flour to make these, and oats that were certified gluten free (you really need to check-- not all rolled oats are processed in a gluten-free environment!).

They're quick, easy, and require minimal oven time during this Heartland heatwave. Get on it!

Gluten-free Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Bars

Inspired by The Complete Magnolia Bakery

For the Crust:

2 sticks butter, unsalted, room temperature
2 cups GF all-purpose baking mix flour (I used Cup4Cup)
1 tsp lemon juice

For the filling:

1/2 cup blueberry preserves
1/2 cup raspberry preserves

For the Crumble:

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9"x13" pan and set aside.

In a stand mixer, combine all crust ingredients until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the pan, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients for crumble; use your hands if necessary (messy, but they are your best tools!).

Swirl the preserves together over the top of the shortbread. Crumble peanut butter topping on top, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until you can start to smell the peanut-buttery goodness. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars of desired size.

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