Buttery and slightly sweet shortbread bars are always a hit. They can be crushed to be used as a base for a delicious pie dessert. Perfect with a cup of hot tea or coffee, and is even a favorite during holidays. What is great about shortbread bars is their versatility, You can spice it up, make it savory, Add some herbs from your flower pot as I do, top with your favorite nuts or keep it classic. The best part, you can top it off with any seasonal fruits you have on your hand.
What is a classic shortbread cookie bar?
A classic shortbread consists of sugar, butter, and flour. The ratio is 1:2:3 which means 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, and 3 parts flour. That's it. Truly very easy to make as easy as 123 in the sense that you can make just one cookie for yourself. Shortbread doesn't contain leavening or eggs. It is the butter that binds them together.
One of the most popular store-bought shortbread cookies that I like the best is "Walkers", they are known for pure butter shortbread, the reason that they're a little crumbly. Some shortbread makers add shortening that makes it crispier and darker color which also tastes delicious.
Using this classic shortbread ratio is the foundation of the most delicious easy cookies. You can add any flavorings of your choice. My preference, I love vanilla, lemon, thyme, and or rosemary; It is like bringing your simple and basic cookie to the next level or if you're a sucker of chocolates, this salted chocolate chip cookie has the classic shortbread taste and texture with added chocolates that provides the purest form of joy.
Cherries, orange and fresh thyme in shortbread cookies?
When it comes to fruit, we all have intuitively had some flavor combinations that work together. Some cherries may taste tart but they actually smell sweet and heady. Combine with another layer of fragrance from orange zest, absolutely yes! It is quite impressive how all the conflicting flavors can come together. Cherry and orange to top off a nice sweet, earthy, and already delicious shortbread bar with thyme - they're divine!
Benefits of cherries1
Cherries have two major categories, tart ad sweet cherries from yellow to deep blackish-red.
- Source of vitamin C, potassium, fibre and other nutrients.
- All cherries are high in antioxidants(polyphenol) and anti-inflammatory (may benefit those with arthritis and gout).
- May improve athletic performance, especially tart cherries.
- Contains melatonin substance which may improve sleep quality in some people.
Thyme has a minty, earthy, and floral herb. Lemon thyme has a similar appearance and taste to the common variety but it also offers a stronger citrus aroma and taste.
Do you know, lemon thyme's flavor is at its peak same as all other herbs, in the morning when the essential oils of the plant are most abundant? Therefore, harvesting lemon thyme is best during the early morning hours of the day to get real maximum flavor2.
Thoughts about cherry shortbread cookie bars with lemon thyme.
Plain shortbread cookies will keep for up to four weeks in an airtight container but these cherry shortbread bars with lemon thyme are best the day it is made and the day after. After that, the shortbread will absorb the juices from the cherry causing it to go soft. But I guarantee you, once you've made it, it will be gone the next day. Try it when you have company coming over.
"The pleasure lies not in the cookies, but in the pattern the crumbs make when the cookie crumble,"Michael Korda
Easy cherry and thyme shortbread bars.
- Mixing bowl, fork, and 8- inch square baking pan
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup Semolina (or 1 cup cornstarch)
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Lemon thyme leaves (or regular thyme)
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups Cherry pitted, sliced into half.
- 3 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon Orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the sides and bottom of the baking pan
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, semolina or cornstarch, sugar, salt and thyme. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Drizzle melted butter and mix using a fork until just incorporated(don't over mix)
- Transfer the dough into the lined baking pan reserving ¾ cup of the dough. slightly press the dough using a flat bottom small measuring cup or any small round flat bottom
- Combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch and orange zest in a small bowl.
- Immediately spread all the cherries covering the shortbread dough.
- Sprinkle the remaining shorbread dough and gently press to adhere. Into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the cherries are oozing.
- let it cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes then transfer the shortbread to a wooden board. Continue to cool completely before slicing evenly using a sharp knife.
- Best on the day it's made but can be kept for another day.
- Lemon thyme has a softer flavor without the bitterness that sometimes gives to food but regular can still be used in this shortbread bar.
- Adding cornstarch to the cherries will help absorb the juices that is why it is necessary.