Sorry to be MIA this week--and I can't even take credit for these strawberry crumble bars which come to you courtesy of my 14 year old daughter who baked them while I was busy at rehearsal. They are amazing, she is amazing and I am amazed that I have raised a child who can not only search the internet for a recipe, bake it up perfectly but also take terrific pictures of it! My work is done!
The strawberries have been just great this year. So sweet and juicy and these were made with the last of the berries from our strawberry picking outing. The bars have a crisp, buttery, almost shortbread-like bottom layer, a layer of sweet strawberries and an addictive streusel crumb topping. And, according to my girl, they're easy to make (look she even took pictures of the process--have I trained her well or what?!!)
You start by making a simple shortbread crust and pressing it into a parchment lined pan (reserving some of the mixture for later use as the crumbly topping--a real time and energy saver!)
Next you top the crust with tons of fresh strawberries that have been coated with sugar and cornstarch--look how juicy they are!!
Finally you sprinkle the whole thing with the reserved crust--
And bake until the top is golden brown and your kitchen smells fantastic (or so I'm told)!
These are so homey, delicious and summery--just right for a picnic or barbecue. The strawberries cook down to a glorious sticky sweetness that is perfectly complemented by the buttery crispness of the crust and crumble. These will not last long, I guarantee!! Make them and be amazed too (maybe not as much as I was when I walked in late at night and saw a plate of these yummy bars, but still...) Have a great weekend everybody--next week is slightly calmer so I'll definitely have more time to cook and share some goodies with you!
Strawberry Crumble Bars
Makes about 12 bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Bake Time: 45 minutes
For the crust and crumble
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes and chilled until very cold
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the strawberry mixture
- 2 cups strawberries, cut in halves or quarters if very large
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. To make the crust and crumble: Place the 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, flour and salt in a medium bowl and combine well. Add the beaten egg and vanilla to the mixture and use a fork to stir it well. Add the cubed butter to the mixture and use a pastry cutter (or two forks) to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are very small and crumbly. Place about half of the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down. Reserve the rest of the mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together and then add the strawberries to coat well. Pour the mixture over the crust in the pan and then crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the strawberry layer.
4. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is golden brown--check early because all ovens differ and you don't want this to burn. Cool the bars in the pan on a rack until completely cool. Then, run a small knife around the sides to loosen the parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Note: Recipe adapted from Flavor Mosaic.