Friday, May 3, 2013

Blueberry Pomegranate Cookie Bars

Warm summer days are getting closer and the chilly spring mornings and evenings seem to be happening less often, at least where I live. At our old house (the last two actually) we didn't have a good outdoors setting, like a patio or deck. Where we live now we have a deck and that makes me so excited. I look forward to sitting outside with a beverage and maybe some cookie bars or even dinner and just watching the birds and talking to whoever is with me.

I was walking through the store one day and saw blueberry and pomegranate juice, so I picked some up. I actually bought it for my son because he loves juice. But, when I decided I wanted to make cookie bars with a curd on the top, I realized that the blueberry and pomegranate juice would be perfect! It's a different flavor, that's still fruity and refreshing.

When it comes to cookie bars I'm a traditionalist with the crust. I like a basic shortbread crust. But the flavor on the top? I'm up for anything! Making a curd for the top is a natural fit because the textures work so well together. The sprinkling of powdered sugar on them adds to the aesthetics of the treat.

When you make the curd, you could use any juice that you want really and customize the bars to your liking. Lemon (of course), lime, orange, pomegranate, grape, blueberry, grapefruit, or even fruit punch for kids would work (and probably be very bright and pretty). Next time I make these I may sprinkle some tiny or chopped blueberries on the top, or maybe some pomegrante seeds. I think it would add to the flavor and make them even prettier. Although, right now they are pretty easy to pop one in your mouth when you walk by the platter, again and again actually.

Blueberry Pomegranate Cookie Bars
Makes 18 bite-size squares

- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 egg yolks
- cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ ounces blueberry pomegranate juice (I used Tropicana Farmstand)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line an 8x4 loaf pan with nonstick foil, set aside.
2. Mix together the butter, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a mixer until they are well blended and appear almost fluffy in texture. Stir in the flour. Press the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 38-40 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
3. In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and cup granulated sugar until blended. Whisk in the juice, butter, and salt until blended, then cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until thickened and it coats the back of a spoon. Be sure not to boil the mixture. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, then pour onto the baked crust.
4. Bake the cookie bars for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill the bars for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle the bars with powdered sugar and cut into squares (6 x 3 for a yield of 18 squares) just before serving.

Printable recipe

Adapted from Rose's Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum
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