It’s not summer without a crumble bar filled with seasonal berries, and few are as decadent as these jammy shortbread treats. They are reminiscent of traditional thumbprint cookies, but offer the perfect amount of berryful jam in every bite.
Cornmeal gives the cookie base the crumbly texture we all love in shortbread, and the muscovado sugar adds a hint of caramel. A pinch of lavender sprinkled in the dough complements the bold strawberry sweetness. With strawberry slices, garnishing every square, the streusel topping melts in your mouth. These are irresistible, especially with a cup of afternoon tea.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Makes: 16 bars
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp culinary lavender, crushed
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup muscovado sugar or brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry jam
4 medium fresh strawberries
1. Place the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang on the sides.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, salt and lavender until well combined.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a mixing bowl with a sturdy wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla.
4. Carefully tip in the dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough is the consistency of damp sand. Scrape down the sides of the mixer and scrape off the paddle.
5. Reserve a heaping 1 cup of shortbread dough and add the rest into the prepared pan. Distribute the dough evenly around the pan and press into the bottom. Poke the crust a few times with a fork. Bake this bottom crust for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
6. Spread the jam over the shortbread base. Crumble the remaining dough over the jam, and then thinly slice the fresh strawberries and arrange them on top.
7. Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 22 minutes, or until the top shortbread crumbles are lightly browned and the jam is bubbly.
8. Cool the shortbread bars for 10 minutes, then while still in the pan, slice into 16 bars. Cool completely, then slice again when cooled. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to three days. Serve warm or room temperature.