Strawberry Shortcake Bars with fresh strawberry sauce
Makes 12 servings Total time: 11/4 hours + cooling FOR THE SAUCE, PURÉE: 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large, and divided 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/4 cup water Pinch of table salt STIR IN: 1–2 drops red food color (optional) FOR THE BARS, WHISK: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. table salt CUT: 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed (8 Tbsp.) 1 cup diced fresh strawberries 4 oz. white bar chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 egg 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 3/4 cup strawberry jam Sparkling sugar Whipped cream
For the sauce, purée 3/4 cup halved strawberries in a food processor. Combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in puréed strawberries, water, and pinch of salt; bring to a boil and cook until thick, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
Stir in food color, remove from heat, and let cool slightly; pour over remaining 31/4 cups halved strawberries. Let sauce cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with a 2-inch overhang of parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. For the bars, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl.
Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until butter is peasized; stir in diced strawberries and white chocolate.
Whisk together heavy cream, egg, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, blending with a fork just until dough comes together.
Press half the dough into bottom of prepared pan. Spread jam over dough, then pat remaining dough over the top. Sprinkle bars with sparkling sugar and bake until light golden, 35–40 minutes. Cool bars to room temperature, then cut into 12 servings. Serve bars with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. Per serving: 343 cal; 16g total fat (10g sat); 54mg chol; 255mg sodium; 49g carb; 2g fiber; 4g protein