Orange bar cookies

These bars are one of my favorite cookies of all times. The hint of spices, the delicious  jam and the crunch of the base and the top..in one word YUM. This recipe is my mum’ and it reminds me of my childhood. Mum used to let me spread the jam and grate the topping and I used to sit by the oven door and watch them puff up and be mesmerized by the smell of the cinnamon and orange.

You can make these with just about any flavor you like. All you have to do is select the jam flavor you love and you’re set to go. I personally enjoy them the most with homemade orange jam.

As I mentioned these are a great way to get the kids into the kitchen and bake some memories.

Orange bars

1 stick or butter or 100 gm margarine (You can also make them with all butter,all margarine or all oil.)

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup yogurt

5 to 5 and 1/2 cups flour

1 and 1/2 cups powdered milk

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon rose-water

cinnamon

cardamon(optional)

nutmeg (optional)

Orange jam

Prepare the bar cookie base and topping

Beat the margarine and oil with the sugar till combined

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat till pale

Add the yogurt, rose-water and zest then mix

Add the powdered milk and mix. (I usual mix up to this stage in the food processor but you can do it all by hand)

Add the baking powder and baking soda then the flour,gradually knead the dough. The amount of flour differs with different brands of flour.. you want to keep adding flour till you get to a point where the dough does not stick to your hands

Spread a layer in a pan or a pie dish (no need to grease it)

Spread a generous layer of jam (the dough will rise while baking so you need enough jam to give flavor)

Sprinkle with spices

Take a piece of dough and grate in with a box grater on top of the jam layer

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C on the middle shelf for about 45 minutes or untill the base is golden brown (I bake it in a Pyrex pan, that way I can see when the bottom is browned)

Place under the broiler till the top is golden

Once you take the pans out of the oven allow them to cool slightly then cut them into bars and cool on wire racks

If you want them extra crunchy heat the oven then turn it off. Place the bars back in the oven and leave them there till the oven cools

These cokies can be stored in an airtight container for a month…If you can keep your hands off them for that long

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