BLACKBERRY CRUMB BARS
Next time you're in the mood to be "healthy" (you're in the wrong place), look no further than these jammy blackberry bars. The crumbly, shortbread crust might fool you into thinking this is strictly a dessert, but throw some oats in the topping and you have a balanced breakfast with a full serving of fruit.
Total time: 70 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Makes about 20 bars
1 lb (16oz) blackberries (or other berries)
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tbsp lemon zest
3 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (optional)
1.) Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9x13 glass baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
2.) In a medium bowl, toss berries with 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon zest, and 1 tbsp of flour. Set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, combine remaining 3 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix together.
4.) Whisk together egg and vanilla extract and add to the bowl. Cut the chilled butter into small cubes and add to the bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, work the butter and egg into the dry ingredients until a dry, crumbly dough forms. Once mostly incorporated, use your hands to gently work together.
5.) Take about 2/3 of the dough and press it into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared dish. Distribute the berries across the dough. It's okay if there are small gaps between berries; they'll melt down a bit in the oven!
6.) If using oats, add them to the remaining dough and mix in. Begin firmly squeezing handfuls of dough and crumbling into larger chunks on top of berry layer. Cover most of the surface, but feel free to leave small gaps for the berries to show through.
7.) Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until berries have cooked down and surface is golden brown. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting. These can be stored for up to two days, covered with tin foil and left at room temp.