In Rosie Rosenthal’s honor, we're adding a hint of rose water to her bars. The rose water is a whisper that just makes the strawberry taste that much more . . . strawberry. If you’re not making your own jam, use ¾ cup of Maureen Abood Market Strawberry Rose jam!
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square pan with butter and flour.
First, make the filling. In a small saucepan bring the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and mashing the berries with a potato masher. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose water.
To make the base, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix with your fingers or using a pastry cutter or spoon. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly browned. Immediately spread the strawberry filling over the warm pastry base, leaving about ½-inch area bare around the perimeter so the strawberry doesn’t stick to the pan.
To make the topping, use the same bowl used for the base. Combine the flour, brown sugar, walnuts, and butter using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or spoon. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the strawberry jam, leaving some spaces open for the red jam to peek through.
Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the topping and base are golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.