Peaches and nectarines are among my favorite summer fruits and easily signal the arrival of abundant sunshine and endless warm days. If you find yourself with a few extra peaches or nectarines this holiday weekend, I urge you to make these peach shortbread bars. They are really just a spin on blueberry crumb bars, one of the easiest fruit bars ever, with the volume turned up.
Browning the butter first adds a nice depth of flavor, and cinnamon and nutmeg work perfectly with the peaches. I tossed the sliced peaches with a drizzle of Amaretto, and then sprinkled my fruit layer with a bit of turbinado sugar to intensify its sweetness. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Peach Shortbread Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Amaretto
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in solidified brown butter and egg with a pastry cutter until dough is crumbly. Press 3/4 of the dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish.
Place sliced peaches in a small bowl and drizzle with Amaretto; toss gently to coat and let stand 2 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and arrange peach slices in a single layer over crust. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over peaches, then crumble remaining dough over fruit layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden. Cool bars completely in pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Yield – 24 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 132
Carbs – 18