I have a confession to make: I love bar cookies and I don’t make them nearly as often as I’d like.
There’s just something about the forgiveness, the many new variations, the SAME old variations that you’ll never grow tired of, the ease and simplicity of throwing together a few ingredients that you most likely have on hand, adding fruit and voila! Something quick and delicious!
Unless you want to cut these into neat, perfect squares. Then I’d suggest letting them come to room temperature then putting them in the refrigerator for an hour or so and THEN cutting them.
But neat, perfect squares are overrated, right?
Let’s take back the ‘scoop it into a bowl and top it with ice cream and forget about the photo op’ days, shall we? Let’s kick it old school.
There are SO many variations for this bar cookie that its silly to try to post them all but here are a few ideas to get the gears grinding: strawberries/rhubarb, apples/cinnamon, blueberries/lemon zest, raspberries/orange zest, pears/dried cranberries… the list really does go on! Use your imagination… or your tummy… or whatever you have on hand. It’ll work :)
Blackberry + black cherry crumb bars
Makes about 36 squares
2 cups blackberries (frozen works great)
2 cups black cherries (again, frozen works)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 cup Granulated Sugar, divided into 1/2 cup
4 teaspoons Cornstarch
½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Cold Butter
1 whole Egg
• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil and then lightly spritz with cooking spray.
• In a medium bowl, combine the fruit and lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 4 tsp cornstarch. Set aside.
• In a separate medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup each of granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg.
• Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Whisk one egg in a small bowl and stir into the flour mixture.
• Press slightly less than half of the flour mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit mixture over the crust.
• Sprinkle the rest of the flour mixture over the fruit haphazardly. No need to be perfect.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is light brown and the fruit is thick and bubbly.
• Let the bars cool on a rack and then place the fridge to chill. This will make the bars easier to cut and remove from the pan. But if you could care less about easy cutting, let them cool a bit and dig in with a large spoon and serve in bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!