Recently I made these blackberry pie bars again. The recipe is from Rebecca Rather’s cookbook The Pastry Queen. Buy it. This time around I found the bottom crust to be a little on the thick side, and there was an awful lot of filling. These bars are so substantial that they are best eaten from a plate with a fork. These are one of the best things you will ever put in your mouth. Ever. They are just really decadent and I thought it would be nice to have the same flavors, but in a bar that was a little easier to eat.
So, with some extra berries I decided to make the bars again with a thinner crust, and less filling. Since I only had a small bag of frozen blackberries I used a combination of blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. A total of 4 cups of any berries would do. As with the Pastry Queen’s recipe, thaw and drain any frozen berries that you’re using.
I found these bars to be much easier to just pick up and eat. There are tons of things you could do with these. Use different combinations of berries, maybe use peaches, add some ground pecans, almonds or walnuts to the crust and/or crumb topping or even play with spices…cinnamon, nutmeg, cardomom. Oh, the sweet and delicious possibilities! I might try a small batch in an 8×8 pan so that I can try more of these variations without having too many extra goodies around the house.
I find these to be extra special served with a small (or maybe a rather large) scoop of Bluebell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
Mixed Berry Bars
Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s Blackberry Pie Bars
Crust and Topping
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold butter, cup into cubes
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, regular or light
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
4 cups berries (any combination you like, make sure to thaw and drain any frozen berries)
For the crust and topping:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Combine the flour,sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until fully combined. Add the butter to the flour mixture and process until the butter is evenly distributed,but the mixture is still crumbly.
Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture for the topping. Press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes,or until it is golden brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl,
Add the sour cream, flour and salt. Gently fold in the berries.
Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top.
Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour,or until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.
One of my favorite cookbooks is The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather. I won’t say any more about it except for this: If you don’t own a copy, as I have said before, go buy one…now!
I made these quick and easy oatmeal cookie bars this past weekend when our small group from church came over. Originally I was going to make brownies from a mix since that would not require too much in the ways of time or effort on my part. I just did not feel like spending any more time than I had to in the kitchen that day. When I came across this recipe and realized how simple they would be, I had no choice but to make them. Homemade is always better than a box.
The ingredients and preparation for these crispy oatmeal bars are both incredibly simple and easy. You probably have everything you need in your kitchen. The prep could be done with your eyes closed. They bake for a measly 20 minutes and are ready to enjoy or drizzle with chocolate soon after making their exit from the oven. Easy and delicious. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I melted my chocolate chips in the microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup. Zap the chips on high for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chips are smooth. I didn’t do the best job of drizzling. A few spots were more globbed on than drizzled. Another good idea is to chill these after drizzling the chocolate to let them harden up a bit before removing them from the pan and plating them. A few of my crispy oatmeal treats broke when I took them out, which is a blessing in disguise because that means more for me! These treats are a simple and humble cookie, and they are definitely worth the time and energy it takes to make them.
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350 F
Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray
Melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir 1 to 2 minutes, until brown sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla.
In a medium bowl stir together oats, baking powder, salt and coconut. Add butter mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon the batter into the pan and with fingers coated in cooking spray, press the batter evenly into the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and cut into bars.
Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle over the bars. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden.
As some of you may know I have a bit of an obsession with Rebecca Rather and her bakery in Fredericksburg, Texas. I saw her there once and I was starstruck! She was signing a book for someone, and I thought about getting her to sign my face…but thought better of it. OK, so I am not that obsessed. Honestly though, the bakery is incredible and so is her Pastry Queen cookbook. I have made a total of 16 recipes from it, and everything has been wonderful. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s true. No failures, no disasters, no disappointments to speak of. Buy it now.
This last recipe that I tried from her cookbook was no exception to the rule of deliciousness. Buttermilk Pecan Pie. I love pecan pie. My grandma June’s is by far my favorite. Grandma June’s pie is a classic pecan pie with the corn syrup and yummy gooey center. Rather’s buttermilk pie is creamier, with just a bit of gooey going on. I am one who likes the gooey-ness, but some people are averse to pecan pie goo. Crazy, I know. So this would be a good alternative for those crazy goo hating people who like pecans and pie.
I did not make my own pie crust. I am so very sorry. I had a Pillsbury one in the freezer and was short on time, so I gave in and took a shortcut. One day I will have the time to make everything from scratch all the time, but at this point in my life I do not have that kind of time!
Serve this pie with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Step aside Marie Callendar. Your frozen pot pies, while delicious and a snap to bake, cannot hold a candle to these truly delicious and homemade chicken pot pies. Yum.
The cool fall weather we’ve had the last couple days here in Amarillo demanded some serious comfort food. Ben made a fire Saturday afternoon since the temperature hovered around 40 most of the day and dropped down to 30 that night. Today it was close to 90. Gotta love the Panhandle!