Lemon-Basil-Blueberry Bars (adapted from Cookie Cookbook)


A recipe that perhaps best sums up Cookie Cookbook is the Lemon Blueberry Bars.  It’s not the tastiest cookie in the book nor is it the most ingenious, but it captures everything I like about Cookie Cookbook in one short recipe.  It’s a simple bar cookie livened up with a healthy dose of fresh blueberries, and the deliciously retro use of cook-n-serve pudding as an ingredient.  It illustrates perfectly Ms. Childress’ penchant for livening up old Good Housekeeping standards with fresh, bright flavors.  It’s also stupid simple to make.

There’s not anything that really needs fixing in the original recipe, but I can’t resist pairing blueberries with fresh basil.   Blueberries accentuate the floral qualities in the basil, and the final product seems to fit the fresh-from-the-garden vibe of the original.  I think Ms. Childress would approve.

Lemon-Basil-Blueberry Bars (adapted from Cookie Cookbook)

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 40 min
  • Ready in: 55 min
  • For: 12 bars
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Ingredients

For the crust:

For the filling:

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Mix flour, sugar, and salt (if desired) in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until mixture is uniform and resembles small pea-sized crumbs. Press into the bottom of a small glass baking dish (mine is 7 x 11) and cook 15 minutes.

For the filling:

  1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon rind, and butter. Pour in the dry pudding mix and basil and stir, then fold in blueberries.
  2. When the crust is cooked, spread the filling evenly across the top. It will form a very thin layer, about the thickness of a single blueberry. Return to the oven and bake 20 - 30 minutes until edges are browned and center is cooked through (it will look a little bit bubbly).
  3. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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