Shortbread: So Much Potential!
Shortbread: a classic cookie staple that – if not made well – can be dry, tasteless, and boring. In fact, there’s an entire category of sweets, the land of the misfit treats, notorious for being the “not-everyone’s-favorite,” the “last-resort-desserts.” In it you’ll find confections like fruitcake and our aforementioned shortbread. But it’s such a shame these sweets have such a bad reputation, because in reality, they have so much potential if made well!
Shortbread, especially, is a blank canvas for creativity and flavor. Spruced-up shortbread layered with fresh fruit and jam becomes a scrumptious cookie layer bar in our Rosé-Raspberry Shortbread Bars.
A Slightly Different Shortbread, With a Twist
We start by making our shortbread slightly differently, using almond flour for a nutty richness and then brightening it up with fresh lemon zest. Since almond flour is the only dry ingredient, these cookies are completely grain-free! Likewise, coconut oil serves as the binding fat instead of butter, making these sweet treats vegan as well! A hint of vanilla complements the citrusy zest for a perfect shortbread cookie base. What’s even better about this shortbread is there’s no sugar in the recipe. That’s right, you read that correctly! Omitting the sugar allows you to use the basis of this recipe in other recipes that have sweet toppings, and if you prefer to bake these cookies on their own as plain shortbread, you can certainly sweeten them to your liking using a dash of coconut sugar or maple syrup.
The Not-So-Secret Ingredient
We top our cookie layer with fresh, organic raspberries, and then to make these bars even more elegant, we spread melted Neat Nick Preserves Rosé Jelly overtop the raspberries for a sweet, wine-y, floral finish. An outstanding combination!
If you don’t have fresh raspberries, you could always substitute frozen, thawed raspberries and then just combine them beforehand with the melted jelly to spread over top the shortbread layer.
The secret to these shortbread bars is baking them until slightly golden brown on the edges and then allowing them to cool completely before removing them from the pan, which we know can be the hardest part! The smell of freshly baked goods is so tempting!
Serve these cookie bars with hot tea for an afternoon snack with friends or nighttime treat all to yourself.
Rosé-Raspberry Shortbread Bars (paleo, vegan)
For the shortbread:
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch salt
For the topping:
- 1/3 cup fresh raspberries, cut in half
- ½ cup Neat Nick Preserves Rosé Jelly
- In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt.
- Mix until you achieve a crumbly dough, and form into a ball with your hands.
- Wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and transfer it to a square or rectangle non-stick baking dish.
- Using your hands and/or the back of a spoon, press the dough down into one smooth, uniform layer, being sure the dough reaches all edges of the baking dish.
- Top the dough with the raspberry halves, distributing them evenly across the shortbread.
- Melt the jelly in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds, or until it becomes liquid-like. Pour the hot jelly all over the raspberry layer of the bars, being sure to cover the entire surface. You may need to use the back of a spoon to help spread the melted jelly out to the edges.
- Bake at 350° F for about 45 minutes, or until the edges of the shortbread bars begin to turn slightly golden brown and the jelly just begins to bubble.
- Allow to cool completely for at least two hours before removing from the pan. Cut into squares and enjoy!
For more great Neat Nick Preserves recipes, visit the Recipes page on our website. Enjoy!
Recipe created by NoodlesKnows blog author and fitness coach Mandy Kaewsowatana.