Friday, July 2, 2010

Strawberry Hazelnut Splendor

Just in time for summer picnics and Fourth of July parties! I've doctored the Raspberry Delights recipe from Taste of Home's "Best Summer Desserts 2010" magazine and created a heartier, healthier dessert using whole wheat flour, egg whites and organic strawberry preserve. I've also made the addition of our favorite cream cheese frosting as a rich, flavorful swirl on top.

Variations on this recipe abound! Try any of your favorite fruit preserves or homemade jams for a delicious spin. Combine two or more fruits like strawberry and raspberry for a berry-tastic treat! Experiment with your families favorite nut flavors. Hickory nuts, walnuts, almonds, even sans nuts could all enhance the flavor of this cookie bar! I know I'll be trying a butter streusel topping sprinkled over the next Strawberry Hazelnut Splendor I make for my family!

Strawberry Hazelnut Splendor

1 c Butter, softened
1 c Sugar
2 Eggs, egg-whites only
1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 c All Purpose Flour
1 c chopped Hazelnuts
1 c organic Strawberry Preserve

1. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg whites. Gradually add flours and mix well. Stir in nuts until thoroughly blended.

2. Spread half of the batter into a lightly greased 13x9 baking pan. (Note: Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! Spreading with your fingers may work easier than with a spatula.) Spread strawberry preserve over the entire surface of the pan. Drop remaining dough over strawberries in small dollops, in a random, haphazard way. Leave random spots of strawberry preserve exposed.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool. Drizzle with your favorite icing or leave plain. Cut into bars and serve up the splendor!

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