For the love of cookies

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars

Thick, buttery, almond shortbread cookie bars are packed full of strawberry flavor with a crisp almond topping. These cookie bars are sure to be a hit for picnics and get togethers this summer.

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars.
Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars are a great summertime treat.

Slow roasted strawberries are thick, syrupy, and full of fresh strawberry flavor. They do take a bit longer than making a small batch of jam, but they are worth the extra roasting time. The flavor of the strawberry is preserved after roasting, it’s not as sweet as jam, is still very thick, the strawberry pieces maintain their integrity and have texture, and it has a slight tangy pucker you’d experience from a fresh picked berry. Utterly fabulous when baked into a shortbread cookie bar.

The idea and recipe for slow roasted strawberries is inspired by Erin McDowell from her recent Book on Pie cookbook I have been fawning over. She is a wealth of information and shares great recipes in her cookbooks. I aspire to be like her someday. If you haven’t checked her out yet, I highly recommend!

These roasted strawberry cookie bars would be an excellent way of highlighting the delicious flavor of fresh local fruit. Sadly, my plans of driving across town to grab local strawberries shifted into turning on ‘Super Mom Mode’ for my two sick toddlers. These are made with store bought strawberries, and although I know local would have had even more flavor, they came out great! If you can use fresh local fruit, please do.

If you are a fan of having a pastry for dessert these will be an absolute divine breakfast treat enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee. These roasted strawberry cookie bars are great for cutting and taking to get togethers or packing for a picnic. They are incredibly sturdy after they are cooled and sliced and can be stored in the fridge without the worry of them drying out.

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars.
Every bite is gooey, crisp, delicious, and beaming with strawberry flavor.

Needing more strawberry recipes?? Look no further, here are my favorites:

Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-Roasted strawberries are used as a jammy filling inside of an almond shortbread cookie bar. The strawberries are slow roasted for an hour and a half until they have a very thick syrup and are cooked soft. Only a third of a cup of sugar is added to the roasted strawberries which makes them a much less sweet filling for the cookie bars. This also results in a much more pronounced strawberry flavor that is sweet, syrupy, and slightly tart like a fresh berry. Lemon zest and a pinch of salt is added to the roasting berries to enhance the flavors of this juicy sweet fruit.

The almond shortbread is buttery and firm with added vanilla and almond extract to enhance the flavor of the roasted strawberry filling. The same dough is used for the crust as well as the crumble on top with added slivered almonds for the topping. Lemon zest is also added to the dough to brighten the flavor of the cookie bars.

The flavor of these cookie bars is bright, simple, and delicious. They aren’t too sweet, which is perfect for summer snacking and a bright fresh strawberry flavor resonates throughout.

Texture-The texture of the cookie is crisp on the top while soft and chewy throughout the cookie bar. The shortbread is dense but holds up well to the soft strawberry filling. I love the roasted strawberry texture as the berries don’t quite cook down into mush as they do in strawberry jam. The strawberries still have texture and along with the syrup they roast in, creating a soft jammy middle. The texture of the filing is gooey while the shortbread crust and crumbled topping is crisp.

Toasted almonds are added to the topping of the cookie bars which create a toasty almond crunch with every bite.

Taste of Summer-Roasted strawberry cookie bars should be stored in the fridge when not eaten as the fresh nature of the roasted strawberries reduce the shelf life of the bars. However, storing in the fridge does not dry out the cookie bars at all! They are incredibly delicious when eaten cold and packed with such a punch of fresh strawberry flavor they are a great summertime treat.

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars.
Roasted strawberry cookie bars are perfect for sharing.

Ingredients You Need:

Almond Cookie Bar Dough

  • Salted Butter-I normally use unsalted, but I liked using salted butter for these shortbread cookie bars. If you are using unsalted butter, use ½ teaspoon of salt added to this recipe.
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Egg Yolk- this will create a richer cookie with soft texture.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract
  • Flour
  • Lemon Zest
  • Powdered Sugar-Optional. Will make the cookie sweeter.

Roasted Strawberries

This recipe is adapted from Erin McDowell’s recipe from her book The Book on Pie.

  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Zest
  • Pinch of Salt

Roasted Strawberries

The process of slow roasting strawberries can seem a little tedious, but it isn’t hard to achieve, and the results are extraordinary in these cookie bars. I highly recommend trying roasted strawberries instead of jam in these cookie bars. You can also use 1 cup of Strawberry Jam if you opt out of wanting to make roasted strawberries.

Roasted Strawberries for roasted strawberry cookie bars.
Before roasting, strawberries are mixed with lemon zest, sugar, and a pinch of salt.

First, I wash my strawberries. This is an important first step to make sure you don’t have any gritty dirt or sand sticking to your berries. Nothing ruins a batch of beautiful strawberry desserts than grit in your baked goods so make sure to wash your fruit well.

I use a big bowl and cold water to soak my berries then I’ll drain into a colander and lightly shower wash with my faucet attachment. I let the strawberries drain for a few minutes then tip them out onto a kitchen towel to dry.

Next, I hull and chop the strawberries. I chopped most of them in half and some of the larger berries I cut into quarters. I wanted them to be as uniform as possible in size so they would roast evenly.

I added the chopped berries to a large bowl then mixed together with the sugar, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. The berries will begin to macerate and get very juicy while the oven preheats to 275*F.

Once the oven is preheated, I place the strawberries onto a half sheet pan. I spread them out in an even layer and place in the oven for 1.5 hours.

I make sure to stir the strawberries every half hour to prevent any burning or sticking of the sugar syrup. The strawberries will have a lot of bright red syrup it will produce as they roast. This syrup will get very thick as the strawberries roast.

Roasted strawberries for roasted strawberry cookie bars.
After roasting strawberries. Thick and full of concentrated strawberry flavor.

Once the strawberries are done roasting, the syrup is very thick and the strawberries have reduced in half by size, pour the roasted strawberries into a heat proof glass dish. Do this carefully so as not to burn yourself! You want to put as much of the thick syrup into the bowl before it cools and sticks to the sheet pan.

Allow the roasted strawberries to cool to room temperature before using in the cookie bars.

Soak the sheet pan with water to get any stuck-on bits of strawberry jam for easy cleanup.

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars

Want more than 9 cookie bars? This recipe can be doubled to fit a 9×13 pan. Add a half cup of strawberry jam to the roasted strawberries if you want a thicker filling for the 9×13 pan.

Preheat the oven to 350*F.

In a bowl mix together room temperature salted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix on high with a handheld mixer for one minute until thick and creamy.

Next, I add in the lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg yolk and mix on high until the mixture is creamy. This took me a minute or two and I scraped down the bowl halfway through mixing to make sure everything was combining well.

Add in the flour with the mixer on low speed just until the dough comes together. I finished mixing the dough with a spatula. It will be soft but on the drier side.

Next, I lined an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and scooped 2/3 of the dough into the bottom. Using my fingertips, I gently pressed the dough evenly onto the bottom.

Add slivered almonds to the remaining 1/3 of the dough and mix until the almonds are combined. Place the bowl into the fridge while the bottom crust bakes.

Bake the bottom crust for 25 minutes at 350*F. The crust will be slightly puffed, glossy in the middle, and barely golden on the edges when it’s ready to take out of the oven. I wanted to par bake the cookie bar crust because of the extra liquid in the roasted strawberries. Because the strawberries are soft and still have thick syrup, I didn’t want this extra moisture to make the cookie bars soggy.

Allow the crust to cool for 15 minutes before adding the cooled roasted strawberries.

Once the crust is cooled, spread the roasted strawberries in an even layer on the crust. Top with the remaining 1/3 portion of almond shortbread crust. I crumble the remaining cookie dough on top as messy and chunky as I can. It will spread and bake up crisp when finished.

Bake the cookie bars for 40-45 minutes in a 350*F oven. The cookie bars are done when the cookie crumble on top is golden brown, and the roasted strawberry filling is dark and bubbly.

Allow the cookie bars to cool at room temperature for an hour or two before placing them in the fridge to firm up for slicing.

Alternatively, you can scoop a portion of this cookie bar warm, much like a warm cobbler, into a bowl and serve with ice cream. Trust me, this is a great way to serve these cookies if you want a warm gooey treat instead of cookie bars!

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars.
Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars.

For clean cuts and even slices of cookie bars, allow the pan of cookie bars to chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes before slicing. I sliced the pan of cookie bars into 9 evenly portioned bars by cutting one side into thirds with a large knife, followed by cutting the opposite side into thirds.

I refrigerated whatever bars weren’t eaten by the end of the day. I don’t recommend storing at room temperature since the roasted strawberries do not have enough sugar to preserve them. I would say it’s technically still a fresh fruit product. If using strawberry jam, room temp for several days is fine since the strawberries are preserved in sugar then baked out.

These roasted strawberry cookie bars are wonderful, enjoyed cold or warmed up and will keep fresh for up to a week in tightly closed container in the fridge.


If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Roasted Strawberry Cookie Bars

Chrissy Grundy
Slow roasted strawberries pack a flavorful punch when paired with an almond shortbread cookie bar.
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9


Roasted Strawberries

  • 2 lbs Fresh Strawberries
  • cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ Lemon Zested
  • pinch Salt I used Himalayan pink salt

Almond Shortbread

  • 2 sticks Butter Salted, room temperature.
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Lemon zested
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • cups Flour
  • ¼ cup Slivered Almonds Toasted
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting. Optional


Roasted Strawberries

  • Wash, hull, and slice in halves or quarters 2 pounds of strawberries.
  • In a bowl combine sugar, strawberries, lemon zest, and sugar. Mix until combined. Allow the berries to macerate while the oven preheats to 275*F.
  • Pour strawberries onto a sheet pan and spread evenly.
  • Roast strawberries for an hour to an hour and a half. Making sure to stir every 30 minutes to prevent sticking and burning.
  • Strawberries should be cooked and the syrup the berries released during roasting should be thick and syrupy.
  • Using a spatula scrape the berries and as much syrup as you can into a heat safe bowl. Allow the berried to cool before using in the cookie bars. Can be stored in fridge for 3 days.

Almond Shortbread Cookie Bars

  • Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  • In a bowl combine salted room temperature butter and both types of sugars. Using a mixer beat the butter and sugar in high for one minute until creamy.
  • Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, egg yolk, and lemon zest and continue mixing until incorporated.
  • Add the flour and mix on low until it just comes together to form a soft dough. It will be crumbly.
  • Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the parchment lined pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes at 350*F.
  • Add the sliced almonds to the remaining 1/3 dough in the bowl and combine. Set in the fridge while the crust bakes.
  • Remove the crust from the oven when done baking. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add the roasted strawberries to the top of the crust. Spreading carefully not to disturb the crust underneath.
  • Crumble the almond topping on top of the roasted strawberries.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours before slicing.
  • For clean cuts of cookie bars, refrigerate at least 30 minutes prior to cutting.
  • Before cutting the cookie bars you can also dust the top with powdered sugar. This will make the cookie bar more sweet and add an easy decoration.
  • Slice bars into 9 squares with large kitchen knife. Bars will stay fresh refrigerated up to a week.
  • Enjoy!


Don't want to roast fresh strawberries? No problem. Use 1 cup of your favorite strawberry jam.
You can also use raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry jam or preserves with amazing results!
Keyword cookie bars, shortbread, strawberry

Related Articles

Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

Personal Favorites

FREE Cookie Tips

Subscribe to get my top 5 tips for baking perfect cookies