I know its the last summer holiday, but for many folks, the fall weather has begun. Tomorrow promises to be cooler and, I for one, am looking forward to cooler days. One of my favorite flavors of summer and fall is rosemary. Just the smell of it makes me smile. Rosemary is most often used with meat dishes, but it is also wonderful with fruits and nuts. If you are a rosemary fan, but not ready for summer to be over, I think you should try my Peach Cake with Rosemary.
Today, with fall on my mind, I decided to make a cookie bar with the flavors of tart, dried cranberries, crunchy pecans and the fabulous fragrance and flavor of rosemary.
These bars are very easy to make. You can make both the crust and batter in your food processor, so you have an easy clean up. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool down to cut them into bars. It was so hard that almost half the pan was eaten before I could get them cut up! I guess I don’t need to wonder if they were are hit with my fellas!
For the crust:
8 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raw sugar
pinch of kosher salt
For the filling:
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries or dried apple pieces would also be great!)
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts work well)
For the batter:
3 large eggs
2/3 cup raw sugar
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
zest of one orange or lime (optional, but very tasty)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3-4 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Grease a 9 x13 baking dish.
In your food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and cold butter pieces. Pulse the processor until the mixture looks crumbly. Pour mixture into the baking dish. With an offset spatula, press the crust down firmly over the bottom of the dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
Sprinkle your choices of dried fruit and nuts evenly over your crust.
Using your processor again (no need to wash it), make your batter. Add 3 eggs, sugar, vanilla, and zest. Mix for about 20-30 secs. Then add flour, salt, baking powder, and minced rosemary and process again for 20-30 secs. Pour batter over fruit and nuts. Spread evenly. Bake for 25 minutes until top is nicely browned. Remove and cool in pan before cutting into bars. Chase away those too impatient for you to cut them up! (that way you won’t get caught eating them early yourself) Enjoy!