Friday, August 24, 2018

Georgia on My Mind: Peach "Pie" Bars with Pecan Streusel

A few weeks ago, I was fairly obsessed with these oatmeal cookie bars—I couldn't stop thinking about them! I finally convinced myself it was okay to make them if I shared them with friends, but that didn't stop me from eating quite a few myself. Just before making them, I couldn't remember if there were nuts in the recipe or not. And when I thought about it some more, I wondered, "Why aren't there nuts in the recipe??? That would taste great!!!" So then it was August, and August reminds me of peaches, and peaches remind me of Georgia, and don't they just happen to specialize in pecans there, too? I'm sure you see where this is going!

Peach Pie Bars with Pecan Streusel

Peach "Pie" Bars with Pecan Streusel

1 cup very soft butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
13 oz. peach preserves (homemade would be fabulous!)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and salt together, then add flour and stir to combine as much as you can. At that point, scrunch the mixture between your fingertips to ensure the butter is evenly distributed and there are no dry pockets of flour left. Remove 1 cup of the crumbs to a smaller bowl, and mix together with the pecans, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set this aside, then spread the remainder of the plain crumbs evenly into your prepared pan and press firmly to form the base. Bake for 15 minutes to set, then remove and (carefully) spread the preserves over the base, and finally sprinkle with the pecan-cinnamon crumbs. Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until just slightly golden and the edges of the filling start to bubble. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover and store any unused portion in the fridge, but let the bars come to room temperature before trying to cut them again.

Peach Pie Bars with Pecan Streusel

Notes: These bars are very sweet, but certainly cut back (or omit) the brown sugar in the streusel topping, if desired. As well, feel free to use any jam/preserves you enjoy, or any nuts you like! As is the case with many of my desserts, these travel well and can remain at room temperature until you're ready to put them away. Oh, and I don't need to tell you how great these would be with vanilla ice cream, right? :-)