To purchase a copy of the book:
Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries)
Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
1 can (21 ounces) strawberry pie filling
Mix the flour and the powdered sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Cut in the softened butter with a two knives or a pastry cutter until the resulting mixture resembles bread crumbs or coarse corn meal. (You can also do this in a food processor using cold butter cut into chunks that you layer between the powdered sugar and flour mixture and process with the steel blade, using an on-and-off pulsing motion.) Spread HALF of this mixture (approximately 3 cups will be fine) into a greased (or sprayed with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray) 9-inch by 13-inch pan. (That's a standard size rectangular cake pan.) Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
Remove the pan to a wire rack or a cold burner on the stove, but DON'T TURN OFF THE OVEN!
Let the crust cool for 5 minutes.
Spread the pie filling over the top of the crust you just baked. Sprinkle the crust with the other half of the crust mixture you saved. Try to do this as evenly as possible. Don't worry about little gaps in the topping. It will spread out and fill in a bit as it bakes. Gently press the top crust down with the flat blade of a metal spatula.
Bake the cookie bars at 350 degrees for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown. Turn off the oven and remove the pan to a wire rack or a cold burner to cool completely. When the bars are completely cool, cover the pan with foil and refrigerate them until you're ready to cut them. (Chilling makes them easier to cut.)
When you're ready to serve them, cut the Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies into brownie-sized pieces, arrange them on a platter and, if you like, sprinkle the top with extra powdered sugar.
March 28: Lunchbreak - Strawberry Shortbread Bar Cookies
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