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.
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.
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.