Sunday, August 26, 2012
brown butter peach shortbread bars
$50 dollars worth of peaches.
These were not "designer" or expensive peaches -- about $3 a pound... you can do the math.
I was going to make another crunchy and custardy tart, because the last one was so good. But I decided to be adventurous and make these peach shortbread bars instead.
These bars are elevated to the next level with the addition of brown butter. I am obsessed with the stuff. With that deep, nutty, salty aroma calling my name; I may or may not have eaten some with a spoon...
(Erica, did you really just admit to eating butter with a spoon? Yes.)
I got the ingenious idea of freezing the brown butter from Deb of Smitten Kitchen. It may seem like extra work (butter is butter right? WRONG), but you can really taste the sweet, nutty flavor in the crust and crumb topping.
Simple, buttery bars with the flavors of perfect summer peaches and nutty brown butter -- what more could you ask for? If you can't get your hands on fresh peaches, they would be just fine with any other type of fruit or even some jam. These are the perfect thing to munch on alongside a big glass of iced tea.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 peach, sliced thin (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick)
Brown your butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don't take your eyes off of the pot! It burns almost immediatly after it foams. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 8x8 inch pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Using your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen