Thursday, October 10, 2013

Peach Streusel Bars

I just finished watching Season 10 of Project Runway.
Yes, I know, that's like 2 years ago. But I wanted to start a whole season from beginning to end, and Hulu doesn't have all of season 12. 
I've never been a watcher of Project Runway. Fashion design never really appealed to me, mostly because we've all seen those horrible... things pop up online. You know what I mean--pictures of a man with a bucket on his head and a giant eye appliqued across his chest and a weird tentacle skirt and barbed wire flip flops. You know, fashion. Ugh. I never understood that, and I kinda thought that's what runways were about. Runway shows were about people wearing buckets and eyeballs and wires and legos and frog entrails and high art, while in China other people were sitting behind sewing machines industriously turning out beige cardigans for the Target shoppers of the world.

But I work from home, and I need something innocuous going on the computer to keep me company, something that won't take a lot of attention but still affords some minor entertainment value. America's Next Top Model turned into The Tyra Show Where Some Poor Schmucks Humiliate Themselves In Public For Her Entertainment some years back so that's out, and Masterchef is over (yay Luca!). Ok. Project Runway. Whatever, I don't have to pay attention.

And you know what? It was actually really good!  I was rooting for Christopher the whole time, he seemed like such a sweet boy, and you have to love your hometown boy (woo LI FTW!)  if he's not a jerk. But he really did seem to lose his head at fashion week, so I'm glad Dmitri won. Dmitri was the jerk, for the first few episodes, but he opened up and became nice & respectful to the people around him and it was really nice to see. I liked him. I also agreed that he seemed the most ready to enter the field, so I agree that he deserved the win based on his ability.

None of this has anything to do with what we're making today. In fact, I guess that this little bar is more fashion backward--no chocolate, no sprinkles, no food-equivalent-of-glitter (whatever that might be).  Just a little hidden surprise.  Surprise! Peaches!


1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (not softened)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 can of peach pie filling, chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar

1) Preheat your oven to 350º. Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil & spray it with cooking spray.

2) Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl until it completely pulls together into a cohesive dough.  Everything should pull away from the mixing bowl and even pull off of your fingers. When there's no crumblies left, it's good.
3) Press this out into your baking dish.

4) Using a spoon or your fingers, press indentations into the shortbread base. I used the back of a cookie scoop.  Then pinch and prod the dough until it looks like the inside of an egg carton, with 9 indents (3 across, 3 down).

5) Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes, until brown & set.
6) While this is baking, make the streusel topping. From the second group, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon & salt.  Then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a couple of forks and combine until you get chunky crumbs. Put this in the fridge for now.
8) After 15-20 minutes, when you pull the dish out of the oven the dough will have puffed up. Using the back of a spoon, push your indents back down again.
7) Roughly chop up the peaches into small pieces. Spoon some of the peaches into each indentation.  Pour the liquid over the top along the ridges of the "egg carton" crust.
8) Pull the streusel topping out of the fridge and distribute it over each peach "cup". 
9) Back in the oven to bake at 350º for another 25-30 minutes. The edges will look golden brown and well-done in places.
10) Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
11) The glaze (optional, really, but pretty yummy): combine all the liquid ingredients of the final group, then whisk in the powdered sugar until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. Pour it over!

Note: When you cut the bars, you want to cut along the ridges that you made earlier, into 9 bars. This way, the peach filling doesn't spill out all over the place and make a huge mess--until you bite into it!

1 comment: