Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brunch with the Girls

This past weekend, I went to my friend Erica's house for brunch. Erica and I met through work, but she's since moved onto another position. We have a fairly tight knit "lunch bunch" at our office, so as people come and go, we usually stay in touch. Once every month or so, she and I try to meet up with another one of our former colleagues, Bethany, to eat catch up and reminisce about the good ole days. This time around, Erica invited us over to her house, along with one of her current co-workers, where she put on a fabulous brunch.

I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the spread, but trust me, it was good! She served a sausage and egg casserole, fruit salad, chocolate croissants, spiced bread and mimosas. I told her that I would bring something for dessert, not realizing that we would be eating chocolate croissants, but it actually worked out well. I made Peach Melba Shortbread Bars, which were the perfect afternoon snack for us. We went over there at noon and stayed until nearly 5 o'clock!

Since the bars seemed to be a hit, I thought I would share the recipe with you. These are the perfect treats to prepare the night before (unlike what I did), and since they don't need to be refrigerated they hold well for a few days as leftovers.

I found the recipe in Southern Living Magazines, which is one my new fave subscriptions.

Peach Melba Shortbread Bars

Servings: 12 - 24
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 60

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup cold butter
1 cup peach preserves (I used peach-mango preserves)
6 tsp. raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl. 
Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.

Lightly grease an 11 x 7 inch pan. Reserve one cup flour. 
Press remaining flour mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Spread peach preserves over crust in pan. Dollop raspberry preserves by 1/2 teaspoonfuls over peach preserves. Sprinkle reserved 1 cup flour mixture over preserves. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 1 hour on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Garnish with powdered sugar.

I waited to put the powdered sugar on until I got to Erica's house, mostly because I only let the bars cool for about 30 minutes. I was running a little bit late (shocker, right?) because it took me longer than expected to make them. See, I didn't know what a pastry blender was when I decided to make the bars, and it turns out, I don't own one. I had to take a timeout halfway through making them to Google "alternative to pastry blenders" and finally settled on using the food processor. I think the clumps turned out a little large, but it seemed to work out just fine. But my lack of owning a pastry blender, isn't the point of this post, so I digress ...

The buttery goodness of the shortbread, combined with the tart jam, crunchy almonds and sweet powdered sugar, made for the perfect combination. 

Get a pastry blender and make them. You won't regret it! :)

P.S. This is what a pastry blender looks like.

1 comment:

  1. This looks so good. Huge fan of peach, so I may have to indulge this weekend and make it for the family.


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