All this week, I am going to post a cookie recipe that I have tested from my recipe box collection. Baking is a huge part of December and cookies are probably on the top of that list for most people. I will admit I always have great intentions of being like the “Cooky Lady“ and baking up a storm during the Christmas season. Then I will bake one batch of cookies and be over it after the second batch. I like baking cookies but I guess I am just not a long marathon baker. I always admire people who can bake batch after batch every weekend of several different kinds of cookies. Plus we all get to reap the rewards of your hard labor!
Bars are more my speed when it comes to the realm of cookies. They are a one and done sort of recipe instead of every eight minutes you have to put a new sheet of cookies into the oven. These strawberry meringue bars are quite easy as long as you don’t let yourself get intimidated by the simple meringue that is part of the recipe. This is recipe is from a recipe box that I think is from the 1950s and 1960s. This is confirmed at least for these bars as I found this exact recipe in a 1968 newspaper.
The great thing about this recipe is that it is totally customizable to ones own tastes. Any preserves and nuts can be used. In the grocery store, there are a variety of preserves flavors that span the spectrum of simple to quite complex. Other combinations could be cherry preserves with chopped almonds, blackberry jam and pecans or apricot preserves with chopped cashews. I have not tried it yet but my mind keeps going to using lemon curd instead of the strawberry preserves. You can even use homemade jam for this recipe. My point is make this recipe your own.
Strawberry Meringue Bars
An easy bar recipe with three layers- a shortbread like cookie on the bottom, delicious preserves in the middle, and a chewy yet crunch meringue and nut topping.
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs separated with yolks in one small bowl and whites in another
- 1 1/2 cup sifted flour
- 1 cup strawberry preserves (or any flavor you would like)
- 1 cup walnuts (or any nuts you would like)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the butter, 1/4 cup of the sugar and egg yolk. Then add flour, stirring until it all is well mixed.
- Spread and press in an even layer into a 13 x 9 baking pan. Then bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully, as the pan will be hot, spread the preserves over the baked layer.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until they become stiff and white. Then slowly add the rest of the sugar to the egg whites with the mixer until the sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks have formed.
- Fold in the nuts and then carefully spread over the preserves.
- Bake for an additional 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
- Let cool and cut into squares. Use a serrated knife as that is what I found the best to cut these bars with.