Love biting into a ripe, juicy peach at the height of summer?
These delightfully soft cookie bars give you another way to enjoy one of this season’s favorite fruits. Toasted pecans and fresh peaches, the star of the show, lend this treat their Southern flavor. These sweet squares caramelize lightly through the baking process and end with a subtle, toffee-like flavor.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 24 to 30 barsServings
- 5 ripe peaches, divided
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Cookie Base and Streusel:
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ½ cup non-dairy margarine
- 1½ cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup finely ground pecan or almond meal
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoon plain non-dairy milk
- ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- First, prepare the filling so that it has time to cool. Begin by peeling and removing the pits from 4 of the peaches. Roughly chop the flesh. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Blend thoroughly until smooth. Transfer the puree into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the mixture occasionally until it has thickened significantly and bubbles are breaking regularly on the surface. Turn off the heat, and incorporate the vanilla and ginger. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat your oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor, beat the margarine briefly to soften.Add in the brown sugar and thoroughly cream together with the margarine until fluffy and homogeneous. Sift in the flour, pecan or almond meal, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt, and mix on low speed to combine. Slowly drizzle in the non-dairy milk, a teaspoon at a time. Add just enough to bring everything together into a cohesive dough when pressed.
- Take 2/3 of the dough and crumble it across the bottom of the prepared pan. Use your fingers to press it into one even layer to form the base. If you do not have enough to cover the bottom, use a bit more of the dough, though the base should not be too thick. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, knead the chopped pecans into the remaining dough to create the streusel topping.
- When the base is ready, remove from the oven and evenly spread the cooled peach filling on top. Roughly chop the remaining peach, and scatter it across the peach jam filling. Sprinkle streusel over the peaches, breaking apart clumps as necessary.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the streusel is golden brown and aromatic. Let cool completely before slicing.