Monday, August 23, 2010

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Blackberry Crumb Bars

We're doing everything we can around here to squeeze a few more days out of summer. Over the weekend I got to cash in my Mother's Day tickets and sing along with Jack Johnson outside under the stars. (Come on over some time and I just might in fact make you banana pancakes.) It was almost cool that night, and while I can feel fall nipping at our heels there are still fresh, juicy berries to be eaten. These quick, not-too-sweet crumb bars are the perfect vehicle for blackberries, but I daresay they'd sit alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream quite nicely.

Blackberry Crumb Bars

These bars are also a nice welcome home gift if, like me, you have recently welcomed a new niece into the world. Scarlett arrived last Thursday - a bundle of pink perfection - and she's already wide-eyed, taking in everything around her. (Or perhaps she's just watching and waiting for her big cousin Cash to accidentally bop her in the head again. But I digress.) Scarlett's mama might be the queen of chocolate-chip cookies, but it will be a while before she feels like roaming the kitchen in a baker's hat. That's where this easy-peasy recipe comes in. She gets to eat a blackberry bar, and I get to hold a beautiful baby.

Fair trade, wouldn't you say?

Blackberry Crumb Bars

Blackberry Crumb Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 16 bars
Printer-friendly version

While I haven't tried it I have little doubt that you can switch out the blackberries in this recipe for the berries you like best. Blueberries come to mind. And stone fruit, such as peaches, might also make a nice version, if blackberries and their tiny, crunchy seeds just aren't your thing.

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs, room temperature
10 ounces of blackberries (2 containers)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan then line with parchment paper, allowing paper to overhang on the sides. Butter and flour paper, too.
2. To make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk melted butter, brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add one cup of flour and mix with fork or pastry blender until ingredients resemble crumbs. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.
3. In a separate, medium bowl whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
4. In a separate, large bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Lower speed on mixer and gradually add flour. Mix until combined. Spread batter in bottom of prepared pan. Spread blackberries across batter then sprinkle top with cold crumb topping.
5. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan. Lift out, holding paper, then cut into squares.

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18 comments:

  1. that looks so good. We don't have a lot of blackberry here in Australia in summer. But I can certainly see the recipe fits with other summer fruits :)

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  2. MMM. Looks delicious! August and blackberries just go together perfectly.

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  3. Jack Johnson is one of my favourites...it seems that summer is not complete without blackberries on the table.

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  4. Congrats on the birth of your sweet niece!

    Your bars look great, but you know me, bars, and blackberries are BFFs. :)
    ~ingrid

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  5. jack johnson...swoon.
    crumb bars...double swoon.
    methinks i need to get my priorities in order! :)

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  6. I'll totally have another baby right now and go through 70 hours of labor again if it means I can have one of these bars! :) Congrats on your neice! Love her name!

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  7. Perfect timing - I was wondering what to make with some frozen blackberries (left from last year's hedgerow foraging), & if I drain them well I'm sure this recipe will work.

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  8. I'd love to make these, but I always eat up the blackberries too quickly to actually bake anything. Lovely post!

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  9. I made these tonight - but being a Brit I had to guess a bit at the measurements as I couldn't find my US/Uk conversion chart. But they worked, & taste delicious. I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the topping (I adore cinnamon with blackberries), & think they would be good with grated lemon peel too. Thanks for the recipe.

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  10. Glad you liked them, Karen! They are pretty forgiving so I'm not surprised they came out well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Hey Abby, I feel like I already commented on these for some reason. They look familiar (smile). In case I didn't, they look delicious. I'm wondering if you think I might be able to do them with my bag of frozen, organic blackberries? Hmm...

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  12. Wow, these look great. Will definitely be trying them next time blackberries go on sale!

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  13. Oh my gosh, this look delicious! And so beautiful! Your photographs are gorgeous.
    I've recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think :) www.prettygoodfood.com
    Thanks, and Happy Cooking!!!

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  14. I am loving the blackberries right now and these are calling my name!!

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  15. Thank you, Anon. Mistake noted and corrected!

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  16. Is powdered sugar in this recipe correct? And I'm wondering what you think would happen if I were to use an egg substitute (like flax seed/water) in it? MIL has egg allergies, and I want her to be able to eat it too!

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  17. Hi, Anon. Yes - the sugar is correct. And I wish I could say for sure what would happen if you used a substitute, but I don't have any experience with those! Eggs are usually just a binder, is that the purpose of the substitute you mention? You could always try it! Maybe use a less expensive fruit on your first go-round.

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Like Thumper's mama told him: If you can't so something nice, don't say anything at all. Thanks, y'all.