Decadent! This is a tweak on my nana’s recipe and I have to say, it’s better!

Strawberry bars with a luscious strawberry glaze and fresh strawberry topping offer a delightful treat that harnesses the full potential of this beloved berry. Historically, strawberries have been cherished not just for their sweetness, but for their versatility in various culinary creations, from pastries to preserves. Whether for a summertime dessert or a festive gathering, these bars provide a refreshing and visually appealing option.
These strawberry bars are best enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to balance their sweetness. They can also be paired with a light sparkling wine or a refreshing iced tea, making them a perfect addition to any brunch or afternoon tea.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup fresh strawberries, mashed
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract for glaze
Additional fresh strawberries, sliced for topping

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder.
3. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla extract until the dough is just combined.
5. Press two-thirds of the dough into the prepared pan to form the base.
6. Spread the strawberry jam over the base, then evenly distribute the mashed strawberries on top.
7. Crumble the remaining dough over the strawberry layer.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden.
9. While the bars are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to make the glaze.
10. Once the bars are done, allow them to cool completely in the pan.
11. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars and top with additional fresh strawberry slices.

12. Cut into squares and serve.
Variations & Tips
For a twist on these bars, consider adding a layer of cream cheese mixed with a little sugar and lemon zest beneath the strawberry layers for a tangy contrast. Alternatively, mix different berries such as raspberries or blueberries with the strawberries for a mixed berry version. A gluten-free flour blend can be used in place of all-purpose flour for those with dietary restrictions.

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