Ok, so clearly I can't resist baking things with all of the fresh fruit that is out in abundance right now. I go to the store and see the beautiful berries sitting there, gleaming like precious jewels and this overwhelming desire to bake with them comes over me. Please rest assured (not that you really take the time to worry one way or the other) but we do eat plenty of fresh fruit at our house and don't just sacrifice them all into sugary baked goods. I just know that this season is short and when its cold and snowing, I'll look longingly at recipes for blueberry pie or, say, these blackberry bars, just full of ripe fresh blackberries, and wish for a piece. I'm enjoying indulging right now, for sure! And, hopefully, my neighbors and relatives are enjoying the fruits of my labors as well as we can't possibly eat all of these treats ourselves. :)
Blackberries were on sale recently and they were sweet and the size of quarters-- just asking to be baked into something special. These blackberry crumb bars were just the thing. A generous helping of blackberries is sandwiched between a spongy coffee cake and a brown sugar crumb topping and baked. Its perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning or wrapped up into squares and taken on a picnic.
Blackberry Crumb Bars
6 tbs. unsalted butter melted, and 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 containers (5 ounces each) blackberries
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Grease and flour pan, tapping out excess.
2. Make topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt; add 1 cup flour and mix with a fork until large moist crumbs form. Refrigerate topping until ready to use.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room-temperature butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, mix in flour mixture. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle with blackberries, then chilled topping.
4. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cut into squares.
Adapted from Martha Stewart