blueberry crumb bars = heaven in a bar

There are days were you are all sunshine and roses. And then there are days when every sentence ends with self-censoring and you have taken so many pills of ibprofen that you wonder if it’s healthy.

I’m just going to let you guess what day today is.

But instead of a lament, let me instead present, the blueberry crumb bar, otherwise known as “the dessert that will totally get me a spouse, maybe,”:

So this may not be the best picture of the beautiful photo of them. It may be because it’s a grainy photo, or because of the flash/lack of flash. or it could just be my horrific point-and-shoot camera. Can we tell I feel disdain for it?

But back to the beauty of these little beauties. So, it was March and I was going out of town. To be completely honest, I was running away from a lot of things: repeated fights with people, my dwindling bank account, the need to move, and my health throwing week long migraines at me. When a friend gave me the opportunity to escape the city for the weekend, you can bet that I did a little cheer, a dance, a squeal and then promptly had a panic attack (never should be said that I am a simple girl). I had just committed myself to go out of town with a coed group, and I really only knew one of the other seven well, and one other moderately well…pretty much, I have just committed to running away for a weekend with a group or almost strangers. Begin, panic attack.

The Thursday before we left, the world of my mother came to me in a dream sequence (actually, that is totally a lie). But I did kind of channel her, cause she always said that if I wanted people to like me I should bake for them, and you bet your socks that’s what I did (you can also bet I went overboard, which I did). On a Thursday night, in between cleaning, showering and a new episode of 30 Rock, I made margarita cookies, hamantaschen and blueberry bars. Those last ones were an impulse cause I had blueberries going bad, and oh what a tasty impulse it was. And friday morning, running on very little sleep, I packed up these gems (and enough goodies to add a second tote bag to my stack of bags) and was on my way to work, and then to the lovliness of Western Maryland. And oh, were they loved.

Needless to say, I became the bane of several waistlines, and one of my favorite comments of the weekend ensued on Saturday when after getting up from a nap I couldn’t find the hamantaschen container. When I finally vocalized this outloud, I’m pretty sure the response came, “the what?” folllowed by, “oh the jam cookies…we took them downstairs when we watched the movie.” Pretty much, they, like there blueberry crumb bar siblings, were enjoyed.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Care of (who else) Deb of Smitten Kitchen

Recipes like this make me wonder why I don’t use more. After seeing a blueberry crumb bar on another site, I immediately wanted to make them but the first recipe seemed overly fussy. I knew there was a simpler way to do it, and lo and behold, All Recipes had it. Once I swapped the shortening for butter–of course–and dolled it up with some lemon juice and lemon zest, they were just as heavenly as the 176 commenters promised they’d be.

I could imagine easily swapping another fruit or berry for the blueberries–I’m especially thinking something tart like sour cherries or cranberries in the fall (I’d use orange instead of lemon with cranberries). But if you have blueberries on hand, do not miss a chance to make these.

These are easiest to cut once chilled, and store even better in the fridge than they do at room temperature–something unusual for cookies!

Yield: I cut these into 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.

4 thoughts on “blueberry crumb bars = heaven in a bar”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s