It’s spring! Do you feel/see/smell it? The warm air and budding trees? The blossoming flowers and green grass? The itchy eyes, sore throat, and runny nose? My allergies aren’t terrible, but they do require a good dose of Claritin every once in a while! But, oh how I love spring.
We had a wonderful lunch this past Sunday with my sister and some of her extended family visiting from Maine. We sat on the screened-in porch and enjoyed the warm weather. Kimi (my sis) made a delicious white chicken chili and I made a beef chili. Everyone had a bowl of each and then I served these Butter Bars with Strawberries and Lime – a take on strawberry shortcake. While I adore chocolate, I also love the simple taste of buttery goodness – and a hint of almond. So satisfying after a great meal!
I want to encourage you to make something special for your family this week. Cook for them! It shows how much you care and provides something everyone needs: real food and real love. While each family member may not appreciate your efforts (especially those picky kids!), know that if you make a habit out of cooking good food, your loved ones WILL notice. Even now my kids are realizing that home-cooked meals are not always a given with some of their friends- and they are understanding the value of dinner around the table.
Would your family like this special dessert or maybe a good chicken recipe (try THIS one)? Or would a tasty beef kabob (recipe HERE) wow them?? How about a crock meal like THIS ONE waiting for them after a busy day? You can do it, friend. And it will make a difference!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup cold butter
- ⅔ cups butter, softened
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cups half-and-half
- 3 cups sliced strawberries (fresh)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- juice of half of a lime
- grated lime peel from lime used above
- Mix strawberries, honey, lime juice and lime peel. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 baking pan (glass or metal) with parchment paper, allowing the paper to go up over the edges of the pan (this will help you get the bars out of the pan after they are baked).
- Make the crust: In a medium bowl, mix the flour and the sugar. Cut-in the cold butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until the mixture looks like small crumbs. I even use my hands after I get the big pieces of butter mixed-in, making sure the butter is incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan (it will seem crumbly), pressing with your hands to make a firm crust. Set aside.
- Using an electric or stand mixer, beat softened butter for 30 seconds until smooth. Beat in the 1¼ cups of sugar. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat in corn syrup, egg, and extract until just combined. Pour in a little of the half-and-half and beat at medium until just combined. Pour in a little of the flour and beat on medium until just combined. Do this (adding a little of each) until all the half-and-half and flour are gone.
- Note: The batter will not be smooth - it may look a little grainy. That's ok.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently spread the batter onto the crust. Bake for 35 minutes or until center is set and the outside crust is brown. Cool. Lift out of pan (using the parchment paper) and cut into squares. Spoon strawberries over the top of each square.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens