I remember, as a kid, always wanting to cram so much into the last weeks of summer.
One more afternoon at the beach. One more dip in the pool. One more backyard campout. One more weeknight sleepover with friends before the start of the school year imposed sudden structure on my days.
Years later, I still feel compelled to make the very most of summer before it slips into fall.
I came across the first pears and collard greens at the farmer’s market a week or so ago and the sight of those cool-weather crops set me into a bit of a panic. I haven’t had my fill of summer yet.
A few days later, at a different farmer’s market, I looked around for the peach vendor who sells the most delicious peaches I’ve eaten in years. They are sweet and juicy and the color of sunset and we’ve been eating them every day for weeks now.
But the peach man wasn’t there.
At home, I had just three peaches left on the kitchen counter. Not quite enough for pie or jam or cobbler.
Luckily, a pan of these bar cookies calls for just one large peach.
This recipe is a lot like a peach crumble, except that you can pick up a slice and eat with your hands. Warm some up and top it with vanilla ice cream or tuck a slice in to a lucky recipient’s lunch box.
It’s easy to make, easy to eat and a wonderful way to enjoy the last gasp of summer.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. Deb calls for brown butter, which sounds spectacular. However, I couldn't taste it in the finished recipe, so I'm leaving it out here. I also scaled this down to fit in an 8"x8" baking dish.
I did find the bars a bit difficult to remove from the pan. Because of that, I'm recommending lining the pan with parchment paper, which should do the trick.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg
- 1 large peach, pitted and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line an 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, cut the butter and egg into the dry ingredients until the mixture is mostly the texture of coarse cornmeal and there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea.
Press about 3/4 of the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Top with the peach slices. You should have one layer of slightly overlapping slices.
Distribute the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the peaches.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan before slicing.