These just positively fly together…like about 5 minutes. It takes longer to dice up the strawberries than it does to actually make the recipe. Oh, so delicious…and easy, too! This is from “the view from great island”. It’s a terrific blog. Sue has an incredible food sense. I sound like we’re best buds, don’t I? We’re not…she has way better things to do with her time, but I don’t like to call her “Great Island”, either. Anyway, check out her blog…you won’t be sorry.
Because we can’t jump up and run to the store these days, I had to make a little substitution. I used some sour milk, vinegar and pure lemon extract, instead of lemon juice, because I didn’t have enough. It worked beautifully. Also, I baked this in an 8 X 8-inch pan, so it’s more of a cake, than a bar. But, it taste really good, so I’m not certain I want a bar anymore…well not that kind of bar!
For the icing, I dissolved some strawberry-flavored jello in the little bit of hot lemon juice I still had and added that to the powdered sugar. Sue’s icing with the lovely subtle pale pink. That’s not this one. We aren’t talking subtle here. It’s very pink…I mean P-I-N-K!!!! Like Pepto Bismol™ pink. But, it tastes great. And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it? Actually, I think this could be served with no icing and just whipped cream, flavored with some strawberry extract and it would be perfect.
I don’t usually use fresh strawberries in cakes. Not baked in them anyway. But, this is absolutely delicious. Very spring-like! My picture-taking was sporadic for this…I was just inordinately distracted, I guess. It happens, but you are clever people…anyway, heat over to Sue’s blog, because she’s a professional and she takes pictures!!
For the “cake”, cream the butter and sugar until light, then beat in the egg and lemon juice. I substituted sour milk, lemon extract and a little bit of cider vinegar for the lemon juice…it worked very well. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and dump them into the wet. Beat on low speed until it just comes together. I didn’t take any pictures up to this point. This goes together the way any standard cake does. Add the strawberries and fold together, using a spatula. Pour into a prepared pan…this is a very thick batter, so you might find an off-set spreader the best way to spread it evenly into the pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake. There won’t be much color, except along the edges. Cool completely before icing. For the icing, I used strawberry-flavored gelatin that I dissolved in hot lemon juice. Stir that into the powdered sugar and pour it over the now cool cake. Using an off-set spreader, spread it over the cake, just to the edges. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting, to give the icing time to set. All that’s left is to cut and serve! For quality control purposes, I did sample it…it was raining. I needed a pick-me-up!
Strawberry-Lemon Blondie Bars (or Cake)
- For the Blondies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (or margarine), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (see NOTE)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- For the Glaze:
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar (measure before sifting)
- 1 tablespoons strawberry puree (about 2 large strawberries, instructions below)
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch-square baking pan with parchment paper (or foil), extending the long edges so as to help you lift out the blondies for easy glazing and slicing later.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. When the egg is full incorporated, beat in the lemon juice. The lemon juice will probably curdle the mixture; that’s ok.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, mixing until there’s more dry flour.
Gently fold in the diced strawberries. Plop the mixture into your pan. Using an off-set spreader, spread out as evenly as possible.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, just until starting to turn golden around the edges and the center is set. A toothpick inserted in the center will be moist but not wet. Do NOT over-bake; they will dry out. Let cool completely on a rack.
For the Glaze: Trim the strawberries for the glaze and puree in a small food processor. Strain the puree through a small strainer to get 1 tablespoons of puree. Whisk together the sugar, puree, and lemon juice until no lumps remain. If your glaze is too thin, add a touch more sugar. If it’s too thick, add more lemon juice. Spread the glaze over the cooled blondies. Let the glaze set before slicing.
NOTE: You may substitute 1 tablespoon pure lemon extract, 1/4 cup sour milk (or buttermilk) and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar for the lemon juice. The lemon juice is best, but this is a very passable and delicious option. Instead of puréeing the strawberry, I combined 2 teaspoons strawberry-flavored gelatin with 1 teaspoon strawberry-flavored extract (Watkin’s makes a good one) and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Stir until the gelatin dissolves. Then continue as directed. This would be equally delicious with raspberries, blueberries or rhubarb…or any combination of those.
I bake this in an 8X8-inch pan, and it took about 50 minutes in my oven. Also, it’s more cake-like than a bar…still delicious, though!