Raspberry Peach Pretzel Bars

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  That you really don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.  I suppose this usually applies to couples in love tragically split apart and losing a prized possession.  But I can honestly say that it also applies to kitchens.

After a full eight days on vacation, I dreaded eating out for another meal.  Without access to a full kitchen, or even a homemade sandwich, eating out for every meal gets a bit worn out after a couple days.  I didn’t realize how much I took advantage of cooking and baking until I was robbed of that privilege.

Now that I’m back at home, I headed straight for the kitchen to make up for lost time.  My goal was to make a bar or cookie that was the epitome of summer:  light and fresh.  The pretzel crust make a sturdy bottom with a hint of salt to offset the sweet top.  I used honey wheat pretzels but any type would probably work.

The top is a cross between cookie dough and cake batter, but bakes up with a perfect hint of almond hiding behind the juicy raspberries and peaches.  Once cut into bars, they have a layered look that shows off little peeps of sweet fruit.

To start off, mix up the crust and press into a baking pan.  I prefer the whack-it-with-a-rubber-spatula method.  It seems fairly efficient.  Then pre-bake the crust.

While the crust is baking, prepare the cake layer in a mixer.

Arrange the berries and diced peaches on the crust in a fairly even layer.

Pour on the cake layer and spread evenly.  Initially, this proves to be quite difficult and sticky.  I finally sprayed the back of a spatula with non-stick cooking spray and used that to spread the batter.

Some of the fruit moves around and won’t be covered, but that is perfectly fine.  A little imperfection makes it rustic and homemade, right?

Finally, bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool, cut into bars, and enjoy with a big glass of summer.

Find the printable recipe here.

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