from Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats
This dessert is more of a crumble than a square. When you cut it and lift a piece from the pretty baking dish, the filling will spill out all over the place. But with the rich, red colour of the strawberries and the lighter hue of the shortbread topping, it really does make a beautiful mess. Using strawberries from a local U-Pick will make these squares even more flavourful.
Makes 12 large squares
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 drops soft pink gel food colouring
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cornstarch.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed for 4 minutes, until it looks light and fluffy. Midway through, add the food colouring, scape down the sides of the bowl, and continue mixing. Reduce the speed to low. Add the dry ingredients and the vanilla and mix until well combined. It should have a crumbly texture.
- In a large bowl, use a spatula to evenly coat the strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 13×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Pour the Strawberry Filling into the prepared baking dish. Use an offset spatula to spread it even in the bottom of the dish. Crumble the Strawberry Topping over the filling, allowing some pieces of strawberry to remain visible.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges of the pan. Let cool to room temperature.
- Use a large spoon or lifter to serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Baker’s Tip: Strawberries are delicious, but if you’d prefer raspberry squares or blueberry shortcake squares, simply substitute an equal amount of your preferred fruit for the strawberries. Keep in mind that not all fruit is as sweet as strawberries, so you might want to add a teaspoon of extra sugar for fruit that’s more on the tart side.
Content and images used with permission by authors Jenna Hutchinson & Ashley Kosowan, Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats. www.jennaraecakes.com
Nada’s Tips & Tricks: We used strawberries for Valentine’s Day but be sure to bring out this recipe again in the summer when the berries are fresh. The recipe works for any of your favourite and locally grown fruit. Easy and versatile dessert – perfect to whip up for a Sunday dinner or company.