Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cookie Carnival (July) - Blackberry Almond Bars

For this month's cookie carnival, it is Blackberry Almond Bars chosen by Kate. Actually, I never had shortbread bars before, and I didn't really prefer blackberry but after making these fruity bars, it changed my mind about it.. I like it.

To me, the part of making the shortbread was easy but not the part of making the blackberry curd, gosh, it was the hard part... I wasn't sure when the curd was ready, and I even broke the glass bowl while whisking the sugar and eggs on the double-boiler.. (it was funny.. haha). Well, in the end, the fruity bars turned out to be supper yummy as what Kate said! Thanks Kate. :)

BLACKBERRY ALMOND BARS (williams-sonoma)
Makes: 20 bars


For the shortbread:
* 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 tsp. salt

For the blackberry curd:
* 2 pints blackberries
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* Pinch of salt
* 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch cake pan. To make the shortbread, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, flour, almonds, granulated sugar and salt and process until small lumps form. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until the shortbread is golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Meanwhile, make the blackberry curd: In a food processor or blender, puree the blackberries until smooth. Pass the puree through a chinois set over a bowl, using a pestle to press on the solids and extract as much juice as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 3/4 cup juice.

In the top pan of a double boiler or in a nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until blended. Then whisk in the blackberry juice, salt and lemon juice. Set the top pan over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan, or set the saucepan over medium-low heat. (If using a saucepan, take care not to heat the mixture too quickly.) Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, until the mixture is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Begin adding the butter a little at a time, stirring each addition until blended before adding more. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until a finger drawn across the back of the spatula leaves a path, 8 to 10 minutes more. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Pass the curd through the chinois set over a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk to blend, then pour the curd over the shortbread, spreading it evenly to the edges.

Bake until the curd is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into individual bars, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


Jeena said...

Look delicious Lynn. :-)

lilmizlynn said...

Thanks Jeena. It is super yummy. :)

Pamela said...

They look gorgeous. Mine just didn't get a lot of height, but they were still tasty. And everyone enjoyed them. Great job.

kamailesfood said...

Way to be a trooper. I would have quit if I broke the bowl. :) Your bars look great. Your curd layer is a lot thicker than mine. They look great.

Ma Baker said...

I would have thrown in the towel if I broke the bowl too. :)
These were great I wish I had some left. :(

Lore said...

love that they have so much curd on top, delicious!

Grace said...

lynn, i'm loving your thick, luscious layer of curd. isn't it wonderful when hard work pays off? :)

wyndesnow said...

Your curd turned out great, even after breaking the bowl. They look yummy.

lilmizlynn said...

To: Pamela, Kamailesfood, Ma Baker, Lore, Grace and Wyndersnow

I really apprecite for all of your comments. Thank you. Yes, its great when hard work pays off. :)

April said...

Sorry about your bowl, but your bars look wonderful!

Roni said...

Those look awesome! Like everyone else, I love the thick layer of curd. Great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your bars look great! I wish I'd used more curd on top, so that my bars were higher!

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